China announced on Sunday that it has officially recorded its first death from Covid-19 since May, an 87-year-old man in Beijing, where a rise in new positive cases is gradually leading to the closure of institutions and businesses. According to public broadcaster CCTV, the victim had mild Covid but worsened after a bacterial infection.
The Asian giant is the latest major global economy to implement a strict so-called zero-Covid health policy that aims to do everything possible to prevent infection and therefore death. It consists of imposing restrictions as soon as cases appear, mandatory quarantine for people who test positive, and almost daily PCR tests to detect chains of transmission.
- Advertisement -
The health ministry announced on Sunday more than 24,000 new local positive cases in 24 hours in the country, the vast majority of which are asymptomatic. The large manufacturing province of Guangdong (south), where the megacities of Canton and Shenzhen are located, was most affected.
End of full-time studies at the French School in Beijing
The capital city of Beijing, which is closely monitored by the authorities and the media, has reported 621 new cases. Residents are in their homes, while others are quarantined in special centers. But the authorities are at their peak and do not seem to want to impose too severe restrictions at the moment in the face of a population that is expressing huge fatigue from the Covid measures.
- Advertisement -
Major shopping malls in Beijing announced they were closing on Sunday. Others, however, have simply reduced opening hours or banned table service in their restaurants. Several restaurants can no longer accept customers, but delivery is allowed.
Several office buildings in Chaoyang District, the business district headquarters and embassies have also asked companies to switch to remote work. A French school in Beijing has told parents of students that they have been instructed to “transition to distance learning.” Parks, gyms and gyms are also closed. On Saturday, authorities urged people to avoid “unnecessary” travel between different areas of Beijing to avoid the spread of the virus.
On the Chinese social network Weibo, similar to Twitter, comments under articles relating to the Beijing epidemic have been filtered, likely to avoid too much online protest against the sanitary measures.
On Nov. 11, China announced a loosening of its Covid-0 health policy, including a reduction in quarantines, in particular for international arrivals. However, a return to normality remains a distant prospect as restrictions, quarantines and checks continue to be applied on a large scale.