COVID-19, a resurgent disease wreaking havoc in China, has led to the firing of 70 officials in the past month for failing to control it. There has been an increase in Covid cases in China due to the more contagious Omicron variant.
Top leaders have warned officials that if they do not act swiftly, they will face strict action, reports South China Morning Post. At least 74 officials have been sacked or reprimanded for failing to perform their duties during the current wave, the paper reported. Health officials have acknowledged that most of the infections show little or no symptoms, making their detection difficult.
As of Tuesday, China reported over 4,700 new cases of the disease, most of which originated in the northeastern province of Jilin, where more than 9 million people have been placed under lockdown. The number of local symptomatic cases in Changchun, Jilin’s provincial capital, has increased for five days in a row and hit a record on March 21. Residents who have to travel outside the province or within the province must notify local police.
The number of new cases reached 47 on Tuesday as authorities in Shenyang, an industrial base home to factories such as BMW, put all housing compounds under ‘closed management’ and barred residents from leaving without a 48-hour negative test result. The daily number of reported asymptomatic domestically transmitted infections in Shanghai increased to 865 from 734 on Sunday, according to Reuters citing official data. Despite being a relatively small number compared to outbreaks overseas, the rise is significant as Shanghai redoubles its efforts to implement China’s ‘dynamic clearance’ policy to curb each flare-up.
More than 30 million tests have already been performed by the city’s block-by-block testing scheme. Shenzhen, the southern tech powerhouse, announced that it would lift its week-long lockdown ‘in an orderly fashion’ after easing measures on Friday to minimize the effects of virus outbreaks on factories and ports.