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China records more local Covid cases so far this year than in whole of 2021

Residents queue to undergo nucleic acid tests for the Covid-19 coronavirus in north China’s Tianjin January 10, 2022. — AFP pic

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BEIJING, March 14 — China has reported more local symptomatic Covid-19 cases so far this year than it recorded in all of 2021, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant triggers outbreaks from Shanghai to Shenzhen.

Mainland China reported 1,337 new domestically transmitted Covid cases with confirmed symptoms on March 13, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Monday. That brought the total this year to more than 9,000, compared with 8,378 in 2021, according to Reuters calculations.

Officials in Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley, have temporarily suspended public transport and urged people to work at home as they carry out city-wide testing this week following a surge in new cases.

Apple AAPL.O suppliers Foxconn 2317.TW and Unimicron Technology Corp 3037.TW both suspended operations in the southern city on Monday. Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, said operations would be suspended until further notice, adding it would deploy backup plants to reduce the disruption to production.

In the northeastern city of Changchun, which is currently under lockdown, Toyota 7203.T suspended production at its joint venture with China’s FAW Group.

Including cases arriving from outside mainland, China reported 1,437 new confirmed Covid cases on March 13, the NHC said, compared with 1,938 a day earlier.

There were 906 new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, compared with 1,455 a day earlier.

There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

As of March 13, mainland China had reported 116,902 cases with confirmed symptoms, including both local and imported ones. — Reuters

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