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13 Mar, 2022 10:20

China hit by its biggest Covid-19 outbreak

Beijing has sacked several high-ranking officials for mishandling a rise in infections
China hit by its biggest Covid-19 outbreak

China has re-imposed some restrictions in response to its biggest spike in Covid-19 infections in two years.

The country reported nearly 3,400 new cases on Sunday, most of them locally transmitted and around a half of them asymptomatic. On Friday, the number of daily local cases surpassed 1,000 for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in early 2020. Infections were recorded in at least 19 regions across China.

The authorities re-imposed some restrictions, including the closure of all schools in Shanghai, where students have had to switch to remote learning. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan described the spike as “complicated and severe,” calling for the broadening of the testing program.

Beijing also reacted by sacking several high-ranking officials this week in the northeastern Jilin Province, including the mayor of Jilin City. Zhang Lifeng, the Communist Party secretary and top manager at Jilin Agricultural Science and Technology University, was fired following an outbreak on campus. The state-run Global Times paper said he was dismissed for “negligence and an ineffective response” to the cluster of infections.

Similarly, six officials were fired in the southern coastal Guangdong Province, including a deputy director of the provincial public security department.