The city of Beijing is facing the “most complex and serious” moment of the covid-19 pandemic, with the first deaths in six months and a continuous increase in cases throughout China.
Three people have died from coronavirus in the Chinese capital since Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 5,229, according to official data.
The last three deaths have caused the multi-zone confinement of this city of 21 million inhabitants.
Insistence on “zero covid”
The deaths come at a time of rare protests over the Chinese government’s zero covid policy.
This controversial strategy, whose objective is to completely eradicate the outbreaks, has led to the mandatory confinement of millions of people and forced quarantines for positive cases.
In Beijing, the authorities have decreed the closure of the Haidian and Chaoyang districts, with shops, schools and restaurants closed.
Those traveling to the capital must also be tested the first three days of their visit and remain in custody until authorized to go out.
In the rest of the country, several million more people remain confined, as cases continue to rise despite the efforts of the authorities.
a complex situation
On Sunday, 24,730 new infections were registered, a figure that is close to the country’s daily peak in April.
Beijing reported 316 new covid cases on Monday afternoon, according to the Reuters news agency.
Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, described the situation as the most complex and serious that has been seen in the city, the agency reported.
A day earlier, a municipal spokesman warned that the city was facing “a grim and complicated situation” in terms of epidemic prevention and control, the official newspaper China Daily reported.
China maintains that thanks to its strict zero covid policy there have been far fewer deaths by coronavirus than in other countries.
However, it is believed that the true figure could be much higher, as numerous delays in dealing with serious patient emergencies in confined areas and quarantine facilities have been reported.
In recent days there has been a wave of outrage on the internet after reports of the death of a baby that would have been slow to attend due to covid restrictions.
Protests broke out in the western city of Lanzhou earlier this month, where a parent denounced the delays getting your young son to the hospital they had contributed to his death from carbon monoxide poisoning.
In October, the case of a 14-year-old girl who died in Henan province after falling ill in a covid quarantine center became relevant.
Separately, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee tested positive for covid on Sunday after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit in Thailand.
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