The National Health Commission on Sunday reported the death of an 87-year-old Beijing man — the first since May 26 — adding that it had recorded more than 24,000 infections throughout the country over the previous day.
The last death was reported in Shanghai, which witnessed a major spike in COVID-19 infections over the summer.
While the world is adjusting to living with the coronavirus, China has held on to its firm “zero-COVID” policy aimed at wiping out infections through mass testing, case tracing, lockdowns and quarantines.
China still bets on ‘zero-COVID’ policy
Earlier this month, Beijing suddenly announced its most significant easing of coronavirus restrictions yet, including a reduction of quarantine times for international arrivals.
However, there were no relaxations in the “zero-COVID” approach, even as it has led to massive social and economic consequences.
In a sign that China’s reopening three years into the pandemic may yet be interrupted, residents in Beijing — where 621 daily cases were reported Sunday — were told not to travel between city districts.
A large number of restaurants, shops, malls, office and apartment blocks have also been shuttered or isolated.
Various parks, sports halls and gyms are closed.
Meanwhile, the southern city of Guangzhou — a hotspot of the current spread — recorded 8,000 new infections on Sunday, leading to a general screening in the district of Haizhu where about 1.8 million people reside.
The megacity had seen demonstrators, irked over a renewed lockdown, clash with the police last week.
dvv/jcg (AFP, AP)