Cities across China are tightening Covid-19 restrictions to stamp out the spread of the virus after growing clusters of cases were discovered.
Shanghai, which emerged in late May from a two-month shutdown that disrupted global supply chains and disrupted markets, ordered residents of nine of its 16 districts to undergo two rounds of mandatory tests between Tuesday and Thursday, raising fears of new restrictions. Residents of parts of three other districts will also be tested.
The city reported nine new confirmed cases and 16 asymptomatic cases of the virus on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the central city of Xi’an in China has suspended all catering services, with schools and leisure venues such as bars and karaoke parlors closed for a week from Wednesday.
Beijing, the Chinese capital, has stressed the need to monitor movement in the city, while counties in Anhui province, which is the center of the country’s current outbreak, have carried out mass testing or lockdown measures.
Investors are on high alert for further signs of widespread restrictions in the country after lockdowns in April and May disrupted global supply chains and hampered demand in the world’s second-largest economy.
China on Tuesday reported discovering 69 new confirmed local cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, along with 266 asymptomatic cases, which it classifies separately, according to national figures, which are released later in the day than local ones.
The majority of cases were found in Anhui, while there were also clusters in Shanghai and Jiangsu province.
Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding in Beijing