Beijing reported 962 new cases in the city on Monday, against 621 the day before, out of 22 million inhabitants. Nearly 600 areas of the capital, including residential buildings, are considered “high risk”, forcing their inhabitants to remain confined to their homes or to be transported to quarantine centers. Schools have switched to online courses and employees are being asked to work from home. Restrictions remain in several other major cities, including Canton (south), where tens of thousands of cases have been identified in a week.
The zero Covid strategy deals a severe blow to the economy, isolates China from the rest of the world and causes great weariness among the Chinese. The 20 new rules, published on November 11 to “optimize” this policy, include a simplification of travel and a reduction in quarantine times, in particular for travelers arriving from abroad.