Beijing, the capital of China, has closed municipal parks and implemented further restrictions as the nation deals with an increase in COVID-19 cases.
In other locations, the western megacity Chongqing and the southern manufacturing hub Guangzhou had more than 5 million residents on lockdown on Friday.
On Friday, the nation reported 10,729 new cases, almost all of which tested positive but had no symptoms.
With most of Beijing’s 21 million residents undergoing testing almost daily, an additional 118 new cases were reported in the vast metropolis.
Hospitals limited services, several municipal schools resorted to online instruction, and other businesses closed down with their workers being quarantined.
Social media videos depicted demonstrators or individuals battling with police and medical personnel in various localities.
Chinese authorities pledged on Thursday to address public outrage over the country’s harsh “zero-COVID” policy, which has forced millions of people to remain in their homes and seriously harmed the economy.
The only information provided was a pledge to free “stuck people” who had been quarantined or prevented from leaving places with cases for weeks.
Although “Zero-COVID” has kept China’s infection rate relatively low, it has negatively impacted the economy and disturbing daily life by abruptly closing schools, industries, and stores or sealing off entire neighborhoods.
With the recent increase in cases, more and more places are closing down companies and restricting travel. To enter office buildings, retail centers, and other public venues, people must present a negative outcome from a virus test done as frequently as once per day.
Forecasters had anticipated more aggressive steps toward reopening the country, whose borders remain closed mainly, but economic growth has slowed once more after recovering to 3.9% over a year earlier in the three months ending in September.