China’s daily Covid infections rose to a record, surpassing the previous peak in April, as it battles an outbreak that has grown since the country took a more targeted approach to containing the virus.
The country reported 29,754 new cases on Wednesday, up from the 28,973 infections recorded in mid-April when Shanghai’s financial hub was in the midst of a grueling two-month lockdown that saw residents struggle to access food and medical services.
The recent surge comes at a critical time for China, whose leaders must decide whether to tolerate some spread of the virus or reintroduce tough restrictions to stem the outbreak at the expense of the economy.
Major cities from Beijing to Chongqing to Guangzhou have largely come to a standstill as transmission chains penetrate apartments, office buildings and shopping malls.
Cities are once again expanding their testing efforts and building makeshift hospitals to quarantine the growing number of infected people. Although no citywide lockdowns have been announced, widespread restrictions are increasingly bringing economic activities to a standstill, even as authorities pledge to make their responses more targeted and less disruptive.