Monday June 27, 2022

China megacity mass-tests, cancels flights after suspected Covid case

April 29, 2022

BEIJING: The Chinese megacity of Guangzhou on Thursday cancelled hundreds of flights and began testing 5.6 million people over one suspected Covid case, part of an escalating battle across the country to extinguish the virus.

China is facing its worst outbreak since the peak of the first wave in early 2020, with eastern Shanghai recording dozens of daily deaths and the capital Beijing sealing off whole neighbourhoods where handfuls of cases have been detected. Under its zero-Covid policy, China has used lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions to stamp out infections.

The strategy is under strain, with the highly transmissible Omicron variant punching through health controls. Rolling virus restrictions -- including a weeks-long lockdown of virtually all of Shanghai’s 25 million residents -- have damaged the economy, causing backlogs at the world’s busiest container port, a key node in the global supply chain.