China's Covid-19 spread persists after mega-city lockdown

People queue for a Covid-19 test in Chengdu, Sichuan, on Sept 2, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING - New coronavirus cases in China stayed at elevated levels Friday following the lockdown of a mega-city of 21 million, as the nation pursues its rigid Covid-zero policy with dogged determination.

The country reported 1,819 new local infections Friday in 25 out of its 32 provinces and municipalities, according to a statement from National Health Commission. That compares with 1,885 reported Thursday.

Chengdu, the nation's sixth-largest city that was ordered to lock down Thursday, reported 155 new infections Friday, edging up from the 150 the previous day.

The lockdown will last at least four days, throttling an economy that makes up 1.7 per cent of China's gross domestic product.

The technology hub of Shenzhen reported 87 new infections Friday, stoking fears of a second lockdown in the wake of a seven-day one in mid-March.

Tibet reported the most cases of all provinces, with 589 new infections Friday, the vast majority of them asymptomatic.

China's north-eastern province of Heilongjiang reported 235 new cases, while Sichuan, whose capital is Chengdu, reported 202 new infections Friday. BLOOMBERG

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