China continues to grapple with record COVID cases; Industrial export hub Guangzhou faces country’s largest outbreak

China’s daily new COVID cases continue to surge as the country today reported 23,276 new COVID-19 infections for November 16.

China’s National Health Commission said today that 2,388 were symptomatic cases and 20,888 were asymptomatic. Yesterday, China announced 20,199 new cases for November 15, out of which 1,623 were symptomatic and 18,576 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

The surge is recorded in many major cities as the national tally almost doubled since officials tweaked the ‘zero-COVID’ policy on Friday. At present, Guangzhou, an industrial export hub in the south is facing the country’s largest outbreak with more than 8700 new locally transmitted cases announced today for November 16, compared with about 6300 cases a day before. Earlier this week, videos posted online showed crowds came out on streets in a rare protest, pulling down barriers in Guangzhou in a densely built area that is home to migrant workers in the clothing industry who lost their livelihood due to the prolonged lockdowns.

China’s capital Beijing today reported 431 new cases, compared with 371 cases the previous day, local government data showed. This small fraction of its 21-million population was enough to trigger localized lockdowns and quarantines under China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy. Chinese authorities locked down the prestigious Peking University in Beijing on Wednesday after finding one COVID-19 case under the ‘optimized and targeted’ ‘zero-COVID’ approach despite growing public discontent.

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