Shanghai Covid-19 outbreak grows, Hainan issues stay-home order

A worker takes a Covid-19 PCR test in a testing booth on the street, in Shanghai, on July 8, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) - Shanghai named new mid- and high-risk areas as more Covid-19 infections were found, with a steady increase in cases threatening to drag China's financial capital back into lockdown.

The city reported 57 new infections for Saturday (July 9), according to a government statement, compared to 59 on Friday.

Shanghai added 38 mid-risk areas and one high-risk area, the government said in a separate statement, after identifying 40 mid-risk and three high-risk areas the day before.

Areas and complexes where infected people live are identified as risky.

Haikou, the capital of China's southern province of Hainan, banned vehicles and people from leaving Haidian island in the north of the city from 9:30 am on Sunday local time and urged residents to stay at home, according to state media.

Authorities detected "abnormal" results in four tubes from Covid-19 tests conducted a day ago that had more than 150,000 samples.

The city imposed temporary restrictions on Saturday that shut down most businesses and public venues for the next week.

The latest figures indicate that China's spike in infections that began about a week ago has further to run.

Officials are warily eyeing the arrival of the sub-variant BA.5, though there's little question about the country's ongoing commitment to Covid Zero.

President Xi Jinping has said his government would rather tolerate some temporary impact on the economy than let Covid hurt people's safety and health.

Nationwide, China found a total of 344 cases, with Anhui remaining the province with the most infections, data from the National Health Commission show.

The number of daily cases in the country rebounded to more than 100 at the end of June after dropping to double digits amid full or partial lockdowns of major cities.

Beijing, which along with Shanghai previously saw severe movement restrictions, reported no new cases on Saturday.

Guangzhou, the capital city of the southern province of Guangdong, tested nearly 6.3 million people over the past day and identified two compounds as mid-risk areas, asking residents not to leave their neighborhoods.

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