China’s new locally transmitted coronavirus cases spiked to a near three-month high, and tighter curbs to restrain the spread are expected in the capital Beijing before a critical gathering of the highest-ranking members of the Communist Party next week.
On Wednesday, the National Health Commission verified 93 new local symptomatic cases for Nov. 2, up from 54 a day earlier and the highest daily count after Aug. 9 at the peak of China’s last major outbreak.
Beijing listed nine new local infections, the most significant one-day rise in the capital this year.
While new daily cases in Beijing have remained very quiet compared to outside of China. The country’s zero-tolerance policy has suggested the imposition of strict measures to restrain the spread of the virus at all costs.
There are temperature screenings at entrances of shopping malls, supermarkets, hotels, cinemas, and subway stations. At the same time, a legion of staff on the ground checks the health codes of visiting individuals on their mobile phones.
Beijing authorities have also regularly told residents to abstain from traveling out of the city, delay weddings, simplify funeral arrangements, and cut back on non-essential gatherings.
Of the flights listed on Wednesday at Beijing Daxing Airport, 60.4% have been recalled as of the morning. In comparison, 49.8% of flights at Beijing Capital International Airport have been dismissed.
Air China is giving free cancellations for flights to and from Beijing until Dec. 1.
The increase in Beijing infections appears as the 300-plus members of the Communist Party’s Central Committee arrange to gather in an urgent closed-door meeting on Nov. 8-11. It will be the committee’s sixth and penultimate plenum of its five-year term before the next big Party Congress in 2022.
Communist Party meeting
At the plenum, President Xi Jinping should push through a resolution. It will cement his jurisdiction and legacy and establish his case for a precedent-breaking third term beginning next year.
Outside of Beijing, there were new local infections in the north, northeast, and northwest provinces and areas, including Heilongjiang, Hebei, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Qinghai.
There were also new cases in the southwest of China, in the municipality of Chongqing, and the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan.
The southern province of Jiangxi listed two new cases.
Carriers include China Southern Airlines, Air China, and China Eastern Airlines. They all allow free cancellations for flights to and from some coronavirus-hit cities, including Chongqing and Chengdu.
Inclusive of cases shipped from overseas, China recorded 109 new confirmed infections for Nov. 2 instead of 71 a day earlier.
As of Nov. 2, region China had 97,423 verified cases.