Shanghai COVID-19 cases rise as China’s financial hub names more high-risk areas

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Shanghai’s Covid cases continued to rise, prompting authorities to declare more high-risk areas and fueling fears that China’s financial hub may tighten movement restrictions again.

The city reported 59 new local infections for Friday, increasing from Thursday’s 45 and the highest number since late May.

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Officials said one of the latest cases was detected out of quarantine and management control, which includes infections that were found in residential compounds under lockdown.

The city of 25 million is screening 3,825 people related to the case that was found in the community.

The Shanghai municipal government added 40 mid-risk areas and two high-risk areas on Saturday, up from four mid-risk and one high-risk area at the start of the week. Officials use the classification for areas and complexes where infected people live.

China’s Covid Zero policy is being tested again with resurgences in major cities and the arrival of the sub-variant BA.5, after a brief reprieve in which officials declared the outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing under control.

President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed the country will stick to Covid Zero, saying that China would rather endure some temporary impact on economic development than let the virus hurt people’s safety and health.

Nationwide, China reported 371 local cases for Friday, down from 378 the previous day. Anhui province found 139 local cases, compared with 157 on Thursday, while Shandong’s infections declined to 46 from 66 a day earlier.

Shanghai hasn’t detected the BA.5 omicron sub-variant in Covid in its recent outbreak, the local government said on its official Wechat account late Friday.

The BA.5 sub-variant has been found in local cases in Beijing, Tianjin and Shaanxi, a National Health Commission official said.

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