The number of COVID-19 cases has reached a new record

The daily number of COVID-19 cases has reached a new record in China, authorities said Thursday, as it works to halt the spread of the virus through strict lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions.

The National Health Bureau said China recorded 31,454 cases on Wednesday, of which 27,517 were asymptomatic.

The new numbers are higher than the 29,390 infections recorded in mid-April, when Shanghai – the world’s third most populous city – was under lockdown and its residents were struggling to buy food and access medical care.

China, with a population of more than 1.2 billion, is the only major economy in the world still trying to stop the spread of the virus in the country, locking down entire cities and placing contacts of patients in strict quarantine.

The Chinese capital has experienced an outbreak in recent days not seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic. Dozens of residential buildings have been reserved, and companies are circulating remote work.

On Wednesday, the city of Beijing announced nearly 1,500 new positive cases (the vast majority asymptomatic) for a population of 22 million. An unprecedented level in the capital since the beginning of the pandemic, but it remains very low by international standards.

Schools, restaurants and businesses closed again, fearing they would be quarantined: a large portion of Beijing’s population is now mentally exhausted by these restrictions, often vague and variable, the duration of which is not announced in advance.

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