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China Dealing With Worst COVID-19 Outbreak Since Start of Pandemic

Tuesday became the sixth day in a row that more than 1,000 new cases were reported in the country.

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COVID-19
2 min read
China Dealing With Worst COVID-19 Outbreak Since Start of Pandemic
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China record 5,280 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 15 March, as the country struggles to control an outbreak of infections, the extent of which has been unseen since the first few weeks of the pandemic.

Tuesday became the sixth day in a row on which more than 1,000 new cases were reported in the country.

The National Health Commission identified 3,507 new locally spread cases on Monday, 14 March, which was more than double compared to Sunday's numbers - 1,337.

Almost 75 percent of China's new infections were in Jilin province (2,601 cases), which is located in the the northeast part of the country.

The administration of that province has prohibited residents from leaving, and has even banned inter-city travel within Jilin.

The capital of the province, Changchun, has 9 million residents. Mass testing has already begun.

More than a thousand medical workers have been brought in from other provinces along with 7,000 military reservists to help manage the outbreak.

Smaller clusters of infections have been reported in a few other provinces and major cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

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The Chinese government has been following a "zero-COVID" strategy, which focuses on mass testing and lockdowns to ensure that even smallest cluster of infections don't lead to a wider outbreak.

Economic experts have begun to predict that the country's growth rate will be affected due to it attempts to stamp out the virus.

"Renewed restrictions, notably the lockdown in Shenzhen, will weigh on consumption and cause supply disruptions in the near term," Tommy Wu of Oxford Economics said, as quoted by AFP .

He also argued that it would be "challenging" for China to meet its official GDP growth target for 2022, which the government has set at 5.5 percent.

A full lockdown was imposed in Shenzhen, a city in southern China, on Sunday, 13 March.

The lockdown was announced by the local government after the city reported 66 new coronavirus cases. The central business district was immediately closed down.

(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)

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Topics:  china   COVID-19   China COVID-19 

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