Home News China records its first Covid-19 death since May

China records its first Covid-19 death since May

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China announced this Sunday, November 20, its first death from Covid-19 since May, an 87-year-old man in Beijing, where the increase in the number of cases is gradually leading to the closure of establishments and businesses.

The deceased man had mild Covid, but his situation worsened after a bacterial infection, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

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The drop in contaminations and hospitalizations linked to Covid-19 is marking time

The Asian giant is the last major world economy to conduct a strict so-called zero Covid health policy, which aims to do everything to prevent contamination and therefore deaths. It consists of imposing confinements as soon as cases appear, compulsory quarantines for people who test positive and almost daily PCR tests to identify the chains of transmission.

The Ministry of Health announced on Sunday more than 24,000 new local positive cases in 24 hours in the country – the vast majority asymptomatic.

621 new cases in Beijing

The large manufacturing province of Guangdong, where the metropolises of Canton and Shenzhen are located, is by far the most affected. The capital Beijing, closely watched by the authorities and the media, reported 621 new cases. Residents are confined to their homes and others have been placed in quarantine in dedicated centers.

The authorities are on a crest line and seem not to want to impose too strong restrictions for the moment in the face of a population which expresses an immense weariness with the anti-Covid measures.

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Major shopping malls in Beijing announced their closure on Sunday. Others, however, have simply reduced their opening hours or banned table service in their restaurants. Several restaurants can no longer accommodate customers, but deliveries remain authorized.

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Several office buildings in the Chaoyang district, home to the business district and embassies, on Sunday asked companies to switch to teleworking. The French school in Beijing announced to the parents of students that they had received the instruction “to switch to distance learning”. Parks, sports halls and gymnasiums have also closed.

Confinements and quarantines

The authorities had called on Saturday to avoid travel “non-imperative” between the different districts of Beijing, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

On the Chinese social network Weibo, similar to Twitter, comments under articles concerning the epidemic in Beijing were filtered, probably in order to avoid too strong an online protest against health measures.

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The metropolis of Guangzhou, which announced more than 8,000 new positive cases, launched general screening in the central district of Haizhu – where about 1.8 million people live – on Sunday.

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China announced on November 11 a relaxation of its zero Covid health policy, including the reduction of quarantines, in particular for international arrivals.

A return to normal, however, remains a distant prospect, as confinements, quarantines and screenings continue to be imposed on a large scale.

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