China faces worst Covid outbreak, cases almost double

China is now battlling its biggest outbreak since the one originating in Wuhan in 2020, with 2,388 new local COVID-19 cases with confirmed symptoms on March 17, official data on Friday showed, nearly double the count a day earlier, news agency Reuters reported.

The number of domestically transmitted asymptomatic cases, which the country does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 1,742 on Thursday, up from 1,206 a day earlier.

Regions across China have been pulling out the stops to try to contain the outbreak though numbers are small by international standards.

On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping signalled that the country would not ditch its “dynamic-clearance” policy to contain the outbreak.

According to state media, he told a Politburo standing committee meeting that “victory comes from perseverance”, but he urged China to draw up more effective measures and minimise the economic impact.

Mainland China had reported 126,234 cases with confirmed symptoms as of March 17, including both local ones and those arriving from outside the mainland. Meanwhile, no new deaths have been reported, leaving the death count unchanged at 4,636.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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