China has locked down a major transportation hub in the south, as the country grapples with its largest Covid outbreak since April. More than 28,000 new infections were reported nationwide – nearing a record high since the pandemic began.
Guangdong province and the city of Chongqing logged over 16,000 and 6,300 cases respectively. New cases in Beijing have also jumped in recent days, more than doubling from 621 on Sunday to Tuesday’s 1,438 — a pandemic record for the city. The nation on Monday recorded around 24,215 fresh infections.
With Covid cases on the rise, China has started reintroducing curbs. Three elderly Beijing residents with underlying diseases died from Covid over the weekend, authorities said, marking China’s first Covid deaths since May, AFP reported.
Many tourist attractions, gyms and parks have been closed, with large-scale events such as concerts cancelled. Over the weekend, authorities advised residents to stay at home and not travel between districts.
Shijiazhuang, which had previously cancelled mass testing, began a partial lockdown on Monday after cases surged.
Guangzhou, one of China’s largest cities with nearly 19 million residents, imposed a five-day lockdown in the Baiyun district, which is home to one of the country’s busiest airports. Baiyun is also the most populous district in Guangzhou, housing 3.7 million people.
Schools will be shut down, public transportation services will be suspended, and residents have been advised to stay home, according to a statement issued by the Baiyun district government.
Meanwhile, Asian markets and oil prices slid on Monday as investors fretted about the prospect of China re-tightening Covid rules. The Hang Seng (HSI) Index slid as much as 3.4% in the morning. It closed down 1.9%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4%, as reported by CNN.