New COVID-19 cases jump in China, with situation in Shanghai still ‘severe’

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New COVID-19 cases in China continued to climb as outbreaks in some regions widened, with authorities in Shanghai saying the situation in the city remains severe.

The country reported 580 local cases on Saturday, according to the National Health Commission. That’s the highest since May 23 and a jump from 450 the day before.

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New infections in the southern Guangxi autonomous region surged to 244 from 40 the day before and the number in northwestern Gansu rose to 158 from 113, according to the data.

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Widespread lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus already cut economic growth to 0.4 percent in the second quarter as production and logistics activities were interrupted, making Beijing’s target of about 5.5 percent for the full year increasingly unattainable.

The pace of expansion was the lowest since the country was first hit by the coronavirus outbreak two years ago.

The COVID-19 situation in Shanghai remains “relatively severe,” with pressures both from a rebound in local cases and imported ones, Zhao Dandan, deputy head of the city’s health bureau, said on Saturday. Shanghai detected a total of 11 new cases outside quarantine areas since July 3, Zhao said.

The financial hub, which recently emerged from a two-month lockdown, reported 26 new local COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including two confirmed samples and 24 infections without symptoms, the local government said on its official WeChat channel on Sunday.

The city also added two high-risk and 12 medium-risk areas subject to lockdowns, and removed 41 such areas from the list effective July 17, the city government said.

New cases in eastern Anhui province and southern Guangdong dropped from the day before, according to the data.

Read more: Millions under lockdown in China as COVID-19 outbreak grows

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