China COVID cases fall, govt inspecting Shanghai, other outbreaks – Metro US

China COVID cases fall, govt inspecting Shanghai, other outbreaks

COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai
COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) -China reported 1,366 confirmed coronavirus cases for March 24, the country’s national health authority said on Friday, down from 2,054 a day earlier, though the number of asymptomatic infections increased.

Asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately, rose to 3,622 from 2,829 a day earlier. Shanghai’s locally transmitted asymptomatic infections surged to a record for the commercial hub of 1,582 from 979.

Though small by global standards, the new outbreaks are putting pressure on China’s “dynamic clearance” strategy aimed at minimising COVID-19 infections, with the highly infectious Omicron variant penetrating the country’s defences.

The central government this week dispatched 10 inspection teams to monitor outbreaks nationwide and ensure its instructions are being heeded locally, with Shanghai and the provinces of Shaanxi and Shandong among the regions under scrutiny.

Of the new nationwide cases, 1,301 were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said, down from 2,010 a day earlier.

As of Thursday, mainland China had recorded 140,651 confirmed symptomatic cases. There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,638.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Yifan Wang and David Stanway; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and William Mallard)