Daily local symptomatic COVID cases in China have more than tripled

Residents line up outside a nucleic acid testing site of a hospital, following cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China March 11, 2022. China Daily via REUTERS

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BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) – Mainland China reported 1,807 new local symptomatic cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, more than triple the previous day’s case count and the highest in about two years as the outbreak infections in a northeastern province squeezes health resources.

The number of locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms reported on Saturday rose sharply from 476 the day before, National Health Commission data showed on Sunday. The daily tally of 1,807 included 114 initially classified as asymptomatic who developed symptoms later on Saturday.

The current number of cases in China is far lower than many other countries, but the growing number could complicate Beijing’s “dynamic demining” ambition to suppress the contagion as quickly as possible.

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Omicron has urged health authorities to allow the general public to purchase rapid self-testing kits for the first time to help detect infections early, as some experts said China’s earlier testing strategy based on a test of nucleic acid that requires medical workers to collect samples has become more difficult. with the fast-spreading variant. Read more

Jilin Province, in the northeast of the country, reported 1,412 new local symptomatic cases on Saturday, representing 78% of the national total and against 134 the previous day.

“[The increase] showed that some local areas, facing a rapid increase in the epidemic, did not have the capacity to expand medical resources, resulting in limited admission of infections to centralized facilities in a short time, said said a Jilin provincial official at a press briefing on Sunday.

Authorities in Changchun, the already lockdown provincial capital, conducted mass testing and worked to turn an exhibition center into a 1,500-bed temporary hospital, according to local and official media.

Shenzhen’s southern technology hub on Saturday reported 60 new local cases with confirmed symptoms, the biggest daily increase in such cases for the city since China contained the first outbreak in early 2020.

Shenzhen’s nine districts have stopped eating in restaurants, closed a slew of indoor entertainment venues and required companies to have their employees work from home from March 14 to 18 if remote working is possible, except for those of the essential sectors.

Six local government officials or Communist Party authorities in the southern city of Dongguan have been removed from their posts for doing a poor job in COVID prevention and control, state media said on Sunday. .

The number of new locally transmitted asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 1,315 on Saturday from 1,048 the previous day, the fourth straight day of increases, NHC data showed.

There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636. As of March 12, mainland China had reported 115,466 cases with confirmed symptoms, including local cases and those arriving from outside the continent.

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Reporting by Kevin Yao and Roxanne Liu; Editing by William Mallard and Gerry Doyle

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