China reports 10,000 new virus cases, capital closes parks

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Beijing, Nov.11 (BNA): Beijing closed city parks and imposed other restrictions as the country faces a new wave of COVID-19 cases, even as millions of people remained under lockdown Friday in the west and south of China.

The country reported 10,729 new cases on Friday, almost all of them testing positive while showing no symptoms, reports AP.

More than 5 million people were under lockdown Friday in the southern manufacturing hub Guangzhou and the western megacity Chongqing.

With the bulk of Beijing’s 21 million people undergoing near daily testing, another 118 new cases were recorded in the sprawling city.

Many city schools switched to online classes, hospitals restricted services and some shops and restaurants were shuttered, with their staff taken to quarantine.

Lockdowns in Guangzhou and elsewhere were due to end by Sunday, but authorities have repeatedly extended such restrictions with no explanation.

The government said Friday it was reducing the amount of time incoming passengers would be required to undergo quarantine.

Incoming passengers will only be quarantined for five days, rather than the previous seven, at a designated location, followed by three days of isolation at their place of residence, according to a notice from the State Council, China’s Cabinet.

Relaxed standards would also be applied to foreign business people and athletes, in what appeared to be a gradual move toward normalization.