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29 November 2022

Covid cases in China are surging once more

The country’s “zero-Covid” policy has failed to contain the spread and is leading to anti-government protests.

By Afiq Fitri

China is recording its highest number of daily Covid-19 cases despite a long-standing “zero-Covid” policy that sparked protests across the country over the weekend. The number of daily new cases, as of yesterday (27 November), is 27,620 compared with previous record highs of 27,584 in April, according to Our World in Data.

Several major cities in China – including Beijing, Zhengzhou and Guangzhou – are currently experiencing outbreaks with millions of people being forced into lockdown. Public discontentment with the government’s zero-Covid policy has been simmering. Last week, thousands of workers at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou clashed with riot police partly over Covid-19 restrictions, as well as pay disputes.

Last Thursday (24 November), ten people were killed in a building fire in the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province, after reportedly being prevented from leaving their homes due to strict containment policies. Protests soon erupted on the streets of Urumqi, quickly spreading to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan and dozens of university campuses. Last night, a large crowd gathered outside the Chinese embassy in London, with chants calling for the country's leader, Xi Jinping, to step down.

[See also: Chinese-owed care home in Rishi Sunak's constituency is one of 64 in Britain]

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