Although China pursues its strict zero-Covid policy, the outbreak continues to appear in many places across the mainland.

In a press briefing on July 8, China’s National Health Commission said that to date, it had received reports of 226,397 confirmed Covid cases and 5,226 related deaths as of July 7. 

The latest outbreak has spread to more than a dozen cities and provinces in mainland China from three over the past week. They include major cities such as  Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong, and Shaanxi.

On July 7 alone, China recorded 97 new confirmed cases and 381 new asymptomatic cases.

In Shanghai, the city reported 45 indigenous cases in addition to four imported cases on July 7 reported that after Shanghai was reopened at the beginning of June, many residents flocked to the Shanghai Mental Health Center for treatment. The number of outpatient visits at the facility on June 1 and 2 exceeded the average visits.

Residents in Shanghai still feel depressed and dehumanized by the city’s previous epidemic containment measures.

A resident surnamed Fang recalled that officials forcibly went to houses, told people that they were Covid-positive, dragged them out, and took their house keys.

Dealing with Covid-19 and its transmissible variants, China is the only country that continues to adhere to its zero-Covid policy. For Shanghainese, the strict measures are straining their nerves, causing anxiety, stress, and depression.

The new epidemic also hit the Yangtze River Delta region, with more than 300 new cases of indigenous infections in a single day earlier this week. Anhui Province has suffered the most in this outbreak, with the highest recorded infected cases. On July 7, Anhui saw 157 Covid cases, while Jiangsu province reported 69 cases.

In Suzhou city, Jiangsu province, the authorities have suspended all social activities.

In Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, the city reported on July 5 that a total of 10 areas were classified as medium-risk, and 9 others as high-risk

Due to the re-emergence of the epidemic, the local authorities ordered a one-week closure of businesses and rural markets in Xi’an; a one-week suspension of dine-in meals in the catering sector; and a one-week ban on significant gatherings like conferences, offline training sessions, and other events. 

In Wuxi, the city had stopped nucleic acid testing for a week before the current outbreak. The new cases of Covid emerged on June 29 and the total number surged to 322 cases as of July 8.

The local authorities classified 24 areas as high-risk and 12 areas as medium-risk. They require all residents to show nucleic acid negative certificates taken within 48 hours or proof of a test taken within 24 hours. Citizens are not allowed to leave Wuxi unless necessary.

In Bejing, the Covid-19 epidemic also reemerged in China’s capital. Mainland Chinese media reported on July 5 that there was a clustered outbreak, involving nine people in three districts, including Yanqing, Tongzhou, and Shunyi.

In Hong Kong, there were more than 2,800 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on July 7. The infections and patients have been on the rise over the past month, with the cumulative number of hospitalizations now doubling from early June.

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