Parts of China extend quarantine and testing amid spread of micron variant of COVID-19

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Major Chinese citiesincluding Shanghai, have set up mass testing sites and are extending lockdown mandates amid rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

The Chinese government reported about 390 daily infections during the 7 days ending Sunday, according to Reuters calculations based on Monday’s official data. These new numbers showed a jump in infections from 340 cases in the previous 7-day period.

On Monday, Shanghai reported more than a dozen new cases, none of which were reported outside the quarantine zone.

Shanghai is still recovering from a nearly two-month spring lockdown following a spike in cases. COVID-19 cases this forced its 24 million residents to stay at home for much of the lockdown. The result was a significant blow to the country’s economy. Re-emerging blocking restrictions are now a concern on the Internet.

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“I was speechless,” a Shanghai resident told Reuters. “This sounds like a waste of resources that doesn’t solve the real problem.”

A worker in a hazmat suit removes cordon lines near fences during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China, 25 May 2022.

A worker in a hazmat suit removes cordon lines near fences during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China, 25 May 2022.
(REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

The recent outbreak has been associated with karaoke salon which opened during the lockdown without permission and failed to take preventative measures among both its employees and customers, the city’s culture and tourism department said, according to the Associated Press.

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“The virus is spreading rapidly because such entertainment venues are mostly indoors and closed, with frequent movement of people, high concentrations of people, and inadequate personal protection measures,” Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, told AP.

Employees wearing masks work in a workshop in an industrial park in Qingpu district in Shanghai, east China, in this photo released by the Xinhua news agency, 17 May 2022.

Employees wearing masks work in a workshop in an industrial park in Qingpu district in Shanghai, east China, in this photo released by the Xinhua news agency, 17 May 2022.
((Zhao Yihe / Xinhua via AP))

Northern cities, including Lanzhou and Tianjin, also launched mass testing sites and lockdown measures varying depending on the number of cases in each individual city. Beijing, another major city in China, found two cases on Monday after a week of no infections. All infected buildings are sealed.

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Reuters contributed to this report.