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Covid-19 in China: containment imposed in several districts of Zhengzhou, against a backdrop of protests

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Zhengzhou recorded 675 new SARS-CoV-2 infections, the vast majority of which were asymptomatic. In this central Chinese city, where violent protests took place at the world’s largest iPhone factory on Wednesday, city authorities imposed lockdowns in several neighborhoods on Thursday (November 24) due to an outbreak. cases of Covid-19.

Residents of the city center are no longer allowed to leave the area without a negative Covid test and permission from local authorities, and are advised not to leave their homes “unless necessary”announced the municipal authorities of Zhengzhou.

These restrictions, which will last for five days from Friday midnight, affect more than 6 million people, or about half of the city’s population. The authorities’ notice, issued after the workers’ protest, also requires all residents of eight districts to undergo a daily PCR test during the five-day period.

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The iPhone factory area, which belongs to the large Taiwanese technology group Foxconn, is not affected by the health restrictions of the locality. But it has been under anti-Covid-19 restrictions for more than a month due to an increase in cases in its workers’ dormitories.

weariness and resentment

The staff of the industrial site mobilized on Wednesday due to a controversy over the amount of a promised bonus, according to a worker interviewed by Agence France-Presse. The premium would have gone from 3,000 to 30 yuan (from 400 to 4 euros).

Several employees are also exasperated by the living conditions “chaotic” on the site due to health restrictions, said the worker, who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid possible reprisals.

Foxconn apologized on Thursday, saying a “technical error” in its payment system was the source of the problem around bonuses. The group says “completely understand” concerns of workers. “The company will also do its best to proactively resolve reasonable employee concerns and requests.”communicated the Taiwanese company.

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Last month, workers, panicked by the unexpected confinement of the factory, had fled the site on foot, some complaining of the disorganization reigning on the spot.

As part of the strict “zero Covid” health policy that China tirelessly applies, the slightest increase in cases leads to the closure of entire cities and the placing of those who test positive in quarantine. But this strategy today arouses the weariness and resentment of a large part of the population.

China is the latest major economy to attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus, a strategy that is fueling weariness and resentment among much of the population as the pandemic soon enters its fourth year.

The number of daily Covid cases in the country reached a record high of 31,454 on Thursday, which is relatively few compared to China’s 1.4 billion people, but exceeds the peak recorded in mid-April when the Shanghai megalopolis was under confinement.

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The World with AFP