Tens of millions under lockdown in China following outbreak of Covid BA.5 subvariant

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China’s Covid-19 pandemic infection cases have continued to climb since a fresh outbreak began in early July 2022, with 24 cases detected nationwide on July 6. Shanghai launched another round of mass testing in nine districts after detecting new cases on July 5, fuelling concerns that China’s financial hub may once again find itself locked down. In southeastern Anhui province, more than 1,000 infections were found from an outbreak that started in late June, with 1.7 million locked down as a result. On July 5, China reported its first outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.5, which has already become the dominant strain in the United States, Britain and Israel. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that the country is willing to pay an economic price to maintain its zero-Covid policy.

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