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Is Covid back? China reports sharp rise in coronavirus cases; 40,000 in fifth consecutive day

The protests against Covid restrictions and lockdowns which broke out in the eastern metropolis of Shanghai over the weekend, have now reached Beijing where hundreds of people converged near Liangmahe river in the central city.

Reported By : AP Edited By : Hritika Mitra | Beijing
Updated on: November 28, 2022 12:56 IST
A man wearing a face mask carries a box with groceries as
Image Source : PTI A man wearing a face mask carries a box with groceries as he leaves a supermarket in Beijing.

Highlights

  • Beijing alone recorded close to 4,000 on Tuesday
  • Protests against Covid restrictions and lockdowns reached Beijing
  • Protestors called on Chinese President Xi and the ruling Communist Party to step down

China saw a huge spike in Covid cases with close to 4,000 cases being reported across the country on Monday even as residents continue to protest against restrictions and lockdowns. The national capital, Beijing, alone recorded close to 4,000 on Tuesday.  On Monday, 39,452 new cases were reported by the National Health Commission, out of which 36,304 local asymptomatic cases. 

Meanwhile, the protests against Covid restrictions and lockdowns which broke out in the eastern metropolis of Shanghai over the weekend, have now reached Beijing where hundreds of people converged on Sunday evening near Liangmahe river in the central city.

Crowds carrying lighted candles in memory of those killed in the fire at an apartment block reported under Covid lockdown in Urumqi in Xinjiang shouted slogans against the arbitrary lockdowns by the government to curb the spread of the virus and in solidarity with the weekend protests in Shanghai. Several diplomats and foreigners watched the protests as they took place close to the diplomatic residential compound in Beijing. Eyewitness accounts said the protests went on for several hours and the police detained a number of people.

Protesters demand Jinping step-down   

Protesters in Shanghai on Saturday and Sunday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party to step down besides opposing the lockdowns and forcible evictions of people into coronavirus medical shelters. Student protests also broke out at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing and Communication University in Nanjing. Photos and videos posted online showed students holding vigils for the Urumqi fire victims and launching protests at universities in Beijing and Nanjing. In the latest notice, Tsinghua University has informed students that they can go home if they wish ahead of the January spring festival holidays.

ALSO READ | 'Xi step down': Protests intensify in China over strict Covid lockdown

In recent weeks, protests have erupted in Guangdong, Zhengzhou, Lhasa, the provincial capital of Tibet and other cities, with participants asking for an end to prolonged lockdowns and Covid tests, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Monday. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece on Sunday vowed in a front-page commentary to “unwaveringly” stick with the existing controls to curb the spread of Covid-19, which first broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and then became a pandemic.

In remarks that appeared to aim at widespread doubts and dissatisfaction, it again touted China’s self-claimed victory in controlling the pandemic so far and called on party cadres at all levels to “resolutely overcome misunderstandings”, slackness and “war weariness”, the Post report said. According to the latest estimates about 412 million people were affected by lockdown measures in China, up from 340 million the week before, according to the Japanese brokerage firm Nomura. It added that more than one-fifth of China’s total GDP-generating sectors across the country is currently under lockdown. 

ALSO READ | China erupts into massive protests against zero-Covid policy after deadly Xinjiang fire | WATCH

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