BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China reported the highest number of new daily Covid-19 cases in more than two months as the eastern coastal city of Qingdao detected surging infections.
A total of 175 locally transmitted symptomatic cases were found on Saturday (March 5), 88 of them in Qingdao, according to the National Health Commission. Outbreaks in north-eastern Jilin and southern Guangdong continue to spread, with both provinces reporting dozens of new cases.
China has persisted with its "Covid-zero" strategy after more than two years of fighting the virus. This policy has increasingly isolated the world's most populous country from the rest of the world as Western nations pivoted to living with the virus and gradually opening up.
The origins of the flare-up in Qingdao were traced to people who became infected after receiving mail from other virus-hit provinces and transmitted the virus further at a small family gathering, the city's local health commission said in a statement on Sunday.
The strain of the virus has yet to be identified but it has been established that is not the Omicron variant, according to the statement.
Qingdao has placed more than 2,500 close contacts of the patients under quarantine and has embarked on mass testing among people in its sub-tier city Laixi, where most of the cases have been found.
Schools in the city ramped up control measures after finding some of the earliest clusters of the outbreak. The city has closed cinemas, bars and other entertainment venues in order to reduce transmission.