China COVID-19 cases rise to new six-month high as controls relaxed

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China reported a fresh six-month high in daily COVID-19 infections, following authorities’ announcement of sweeping changes to ease quarantine and testing requirements.

The country’s new local cases rose to 11,323 for Friday, according to figures reported by the official broadcaster CCTV, after infections climbed above 10,000 for the first time since April on the previous day.

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New cases in the southern metropolis Guangzhou jumped to 3,180, from 2,583 on Thursday, while infections in Beijing remained unchanged at 114, according to local health authorities.

China on Friday reduced the amount of time travelers and close contacts of virus cases must spend in quarantine, and pulled back on testing, in a significant calibration of the Covid Zero policy that has upended the world’s second-largest economy and raised public ire.

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