Covid, record infections and general lockdown in China. And the World Cup in Qatar triggers frustration

It is a record number of Covid-19 infections in China, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. New daily infections exceeded 30,000, according to the latest survey by the National Health Commission, despite the drastic measures of the “covid zero” policy to contain the spread of the virus. There are 3,297 confirmed cases of local transmission, to which 27,517 asymptomatic cases are added, in a total of 30,814 infections of local transmission (31,656, in total, also including imported cases) while the death toll rises by one, 5,232 since the beginning of the pandemic. The total of new infections also surpasses the peak of more than 28,000 reached on April 13 last year, during the long lockdown that Shanghai was subjected to.

The latest wave is especially felt in the southeastern province of Guangdong, whose capital Guangzhou has an entire district, Haizhu, under lockdown; in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, and in the capital, Beijing, which has imposed several restrictions on its inhabitants, especially in the Chaoyang district, where some 3.5 million people live and is the center of financial activity and the seat of numerous embassies. While the numbers remain generally low, China is intent on breaking the virus’s transmission chains, with measures that also hurt the economy.

The latest city to shop on Beijing’s hard line is Zhengzhou, where yesterday clashes between Foxconn employees and the police took place: employees were furious at living conditions in the dormitories and in the maxi-factory that produces most of the iPhones sold. globally, and which has been subject to restrictions for a month due to the increase in infections inside it. The large-scale protests by employees partially subsided, according to a source cited by Reuters, and the company apologized and spoke of a “technical error” in hiring new staff to deal with the leaks of the month, the last part of the staff. who feared repercussions from rising infections. Foxconn had promised hefty bonuses for those staying at the factory and for new arrivals, but officials accused the company of breaking its promises, delaying payments and threatening anyone who contracted Covid-19 without compensation.

In addition to the return to tougher lines (despite a recent easing) and economic uncertainties, finally, there is social frustration, exacerbated by the World Cup in Qatar, for which China did not qualify, but which are transmitted by CCTV, the Chinese state television station. Chinese fans did not fail to notice the absence of masks in the public that watches the games and celebrates the goals of their selections. An open letter that circulated on social media (WeChat), and was subsequently censored, again questions the Zero Covid policy and, ironically, asks whether China and Qatar are “on the same planet”.

Source: IL Tempo