China’s local Covid-19 cases hit highest in 21 months

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China reported its biggest daily increase in local Covid-19 cases in 21 months, with infections more than doubling in the northwestern city of Xian, China’s latest Covidhot point.

The city of 13 million people, which entered its fourth day of containment, detected 155 locally transmitted cases with symptoms confirmed for Saturday, up from 75 a day earlier, according to official data released on Sunday.

That brought the national daily count to 158, the highest since China successfully contained a nationwide outbreak in early 2020.

Xian, with 485 local symptomatic cases reported for the period December 9 to 25, has imposed severe measures to curb the outbreak, in line with Beijing policy that any outbreaks must be contained as soon as possible.

Residents cannot leave the city without the approval of employers or local authorities and several rounds of mass tests have been carried out to identify the cases.

The city has not announced any infections caused by the Omicron variant, although Chinese authorities have reported a handful of Omicron infections among international travelers and in southern China.

Including imported cases, mainland China confirmed 206 new cases on December 25, up from 140 a day earlier.

No new deaths have been reported, leaving the cumulative death toll at 4,636. Mainland China had 101,077 confirmed cases as of December 25.

(Reuters)

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