As the number of COVID-19 cases reaches a daily record, pandemic lockdowns are spreading throughout China, even in a city where manufacturing workers and police battled this week.
Eight districts in the 6.6 million-person city of Zhengzhou were ordered to keep their residents indoors for five days starting Thursday, except for food purchases and medical appointments.
In what the local authorities referred to as a “war of annihilation” against the virus, daily mass testing was mandated.
In conflicts on Tuesday and Wednesday, Zhengzhou police beat employees protesting a salary dispute at the largest iPhone manufacturer in an industrial area outside the city.
The factory’s owner, Foxconn, located in Taiwan, apologized on Thursday for what it called “an entry error in the computer system” and promised to ensure that the pay is consistent with what was agreed upon and stated in official recruitment posters.
The National Health Commission said 31,444 more new COVID cases were reported on the previous day.
Since the coronavirus was initially discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, that is the highest daily figure.
The number of cases handled every day has been rising.
According to the authorities, China’s first COVID-19 deaths in six months were recorded this week, raising the total to 5,232.
Despite the comparatively low number of cases and fatalities in comparison to the United States and other nations, China’s ruling Communist Party is nevertheless dedicated to a “zero-COVID” strategy that strives to isolate every case and completely eradicate the virus.
To help prevent deaths and severe sickness, most other governments have stopped using anti-virus measures and now rely on vaccinations and immunity from prior illnesses.
Businesses and residential areas are under various sorts of lockdowns from Beijing in the north to the manufacturing hub of Guangzhou in the south, which negatively impacts blue-collar migrant workers.
Residents claim that the limits frequently go beyond what the federal government permits.
Access to Guangzhou’s 3.7 million-person Baiyun district was blocked on Monday, while some inhabitants of Shijiazhuang, an 11 million-person metropolis southwest of Beijing, were advised to stay inside while mass testing was taking place.