Shanghai’s education bureau has ordered schools to hold online classes from Monday as several Covid infections hit cities across China. The agency told kindergartens and daycare centers in the city on Saturday to close all face-to-face classes, according to an online statement. Cases have risen since China lifted some of the world’s toughest restrictions last week. There are concerns that Covid could spread rapidly across the country’s 1.4 billion population during next month’s Lunar New Year holidays.
Health officials have also ended mass test drives and compulsory routine inspections, which were pillars of the policy. Mainland China reported 2,286 new symptomatic infections on Friday, compared with 2,157 on Thursday, the National Health Commission said on Saturday. Excluding imported infections, China reported 2,229 new locally symptomatic cases, up from 2,091 on Thursday. China stopped reporting asymptomatic cases on Wednesday, and the lack of testing by asymptomatic people has made it difficult to determine an exact total. No deaths were reported on Friday, leaving his total death toll at 5,235.