China’s Covid cases reach six-month high despite gruelling lockdowns

China’s Covid infection tally spiked to its highest daily record in six months despite strict lockdowns implemented across the country and impeding its economy, officials said.

More than 5,600 new Covid infections were recorded on Monday, with nearly half concentrated in the Guangdong province housing China’s manufacturing hub of major ports, reported AFP.

On Friday, China recorded 3,837 new Covid infections — including 657 symptomatic cases and 3,180 asymptomatic cases.

Authorities in Beijing also dismissed the hope for an end to the strict zero-Covid policy over the weekend and said the restrictions may not be relaxed anytime soon.

This comes as almost 60 new infections were traced in Beijing, leading to closure of schools in Chaoyang district. Some offices have also asked their workers to work from home temporarily.

China’s health officials said they will continue with its “dynamic-clearing” approach to Covid cases as soon as they surface.

“We should adhere to the principle of putting people and lives first, and the broader strategy of preventing imports from outside and internal rebounds,” said Mi Feng, the country’s National Health Commission spokesperson.

The measures to prevent outbreaks will be implemented more precisely and meet the needs of vulnerable people, he said.

An official from the health commission said China’s strict Covid containment approach has managed to control the virus in the face of high transmissibility of Covid variants and asymptomatic carriers.

Under China’s strict Covid policy, which has faced severe backlash from citizens this year, officials impose lockdowns, quarantining measures and rigorous testing.

The Covid outbreak continues to force shutdowns across sectors at a time other nations have managed to control infection rates.

Officials in Zhengzhou suspended access to the region’s industrial area last week after a cluster of infections were reported, slowing down the availability of Apple’s latest iPhone models in the market.

The factory, operated by Foxconn, is "operating at significantly reduced capacity", officials said, warning that the customers will have to wait longer to get their hands on the latest models.