China Reports Third Consecutive Daily Record for New COVID Cases

China reported 35,183 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, of which 3,474 were symptomatic and 31,709 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Saturday, setting a new high for the third consecutive day.
That compared with 32,943 new cases a day earlier — 3,103 symptomatic and 29,840 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
Excluding imported cases, China reported 34,909 new local cases on Friday, of which 3,405 were symptomatic and 31,504 were asymptomatic, up from 32,695 a day earlier.
There were no deaths, keeping fatalities at 5,232. As of Friday, mainland China had confirmed 304,093 cases with symptoms.
Mega-cities continue to struggle to contain outbreaks, with Chongqing and Guangzhou recording the bulk of new cases.
Chongqing, a southwestern city of 32 million people, reported 7,721 new local cases for Friday, a jump of almost 20% from the previous day.
Guangzhou, a prosperous city of nearly 19 million people in southern China, reported 7,419 new local cases for Friday, down slightly from 7,524 cases a day earlier.
New local cases for Friday in the capital Beijing jumped 58% to 2,595, according to figures released by local health authorities Saturday.
There are COVID outbreaks in almost all Chinese provinces, with Hebei, Sichuan, Shanxi and Qinghai provinces each registering more than a thousand new cases on Friday.

Source: Voice of America

COVID Protests in China’s Urumqi Region

Protesters, angry about long COVID-19 lockdowns, have taken to the streets in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far western Xinjiang region.
The protests followed a high-rise apartment building fire in Urumqi on Thursday that killed 10 people and concerns that the lockdown measures may have prevented firefighters from entering the building quickly and may have hampered the exit of some residents.
The demonstrations also follow online discussions, now removed, on Chinese social media questioning why there are maskless spectators at the World Cup games, while China continues to subject its citizens to long lockdowns.
“More than 120 countries in the rest of the world have lifted their COVID restrictive measures quite some time ago,” began one of the questions posed by a writer who said he lives in north central Shannxi province, home to China’s ancient capital city Xi’an.
“Why should they lead freer lives than Chinese citizens? I did not see anyone sporting face masks at the Qatar World Cup opening ceremony and did not hear of any attendee showing proof of negative COVID tests; does this mean they live on a different planet from us?”
Urumqi has been under lockdown since August. However, it is reporting about 100 new COVID cases each day.
Urumqi is also home to many Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic group that human rights groups and western governments say suffered many human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government. China rejects the charges as interference in its internal affairs.

Source: Voice of America