Sun Chunlan, a top official known for enforcing a strict citywide lockdown on Shanghai, arrived in the south-western Chinese city of Chongqing on Monday as coronavirus cases ballooned into the thousands.
The Chongqing government has not announced a citywide lockdown but on Monday ordered that all residents should not leave the city for non-essential reasons. Chongqing reported 6,335 cases for the day, up from 6,129 the day before.
The city is building more makeshift hospitals which could provide 43,063 extra beds. It has already set up three extra hospitals with 17,000 beds.
As investors search for signs of a loosening of China’s zero-Covid policy, Sun, one of China’s outgoing vice-premiers, emphasised that the city needs to win the battle against the pandemic as soon as possible, state media reported.
The city has been through a tumultuous few months, suffering from a severe drought and a series of forest fires.
Guangzhou, the site of another serious outbreak, clocked 8,210 cases for Monday. The city is still attempting to control the spread of the virus without a citywide lockdown. However, officials placed both the Haizhu and Baiyun districts under full lockdowns in recent days.
Shenzhen, a technology and manufacturing hub across the border from Hong Kong, reported 30 cases on Monday, up from 20 the day before.