China reports highest cases in last 6 months

At a news conference on Saturday, health officials reiterated their commitment to the "dynamic clearing" approach to COVID cases as soon as they emerge.
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BEIJING: Despite the stern Zero-covid policy in place, China reported 4,420 new locally transmitted covid-19 infections on Saturday, the most in the past six months, media reports said citing the country's National Health Commission.

China's last highest number of cases was reported on May 6. However, even after China's highhandedness in tackling the pandemic, a day earlier on Friday, China reported 3,659 new local cases, reported Al Jazeera. The public in China is increasingly flustered by its hardline zero-covid policy.

The restrictions are also taking hitting a blow to its economy. Health officials, only a day after the country reported the highest covid cases in the last 6 months, said they will stick with strict coronavirus curbs.

At a news conference on Saturday, health officials reiterated their commitment to the "dynamic clearing" approach to covid cases as soon as they emerge.

China's anti-covid measures are "completely correct, as well as the most economical and effective", said disease control official Hu Xiang.

"We should adhere to the principle of putting people and lives first, and the broader strategy of preventing imports from outside and internal rebounds."

Last week, due to the rumours of a possible easing of the covid curbs and reports of tweaks to policy, Chinese stocks soared.

However, many analysts say they do not expect significant easing to begin until after China's annual parliamentary session in March, reported Al Jazeera. On Saturday's announcement, Goldman Sachs analysts said, "the government still needs to keep its zero-covid policy until all preparations are done".

The southern city of Guangzhou reported rising infections, with 66 new locally transmitted symptomatic and 1,259 asymptomatic cases, compared with 111 symptomatic and 635 asymptomatic cases a day before, authorities in the city of nearly 19 million people said.

China's capital Beijing reported 43 symptomatic and six asymptomatic cases, compared with 37 symptomatic and five asymptomatic cases the previous day. Despite of the reported cases, about 30,000 runners, some wearing face masks.

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