Health officials said 2,125 cases were reported in 58 cities in 19 out of 31 mainland provinces, marking the fourth day in a row that China reported more than 1,000 daily local cases. More than 10,000 cases have been reported since the most recent outbreak began in early March, the NHC said.
On Saturday, the commission reported 3,122 local cases – the highest number of daily infections since the Wuhan outbreak and the first time new cases have exceeded 3,000 in a day, NHC data showed.
Nearly half of the total infections in the latest outbreak have been reported in the northeastern Jilin province, with 4,605 cases since March 1, when the first clusters of cases in Jilin’s border town Yanbian were identified, according to the provincial government.
The majority of cases Sunday, 1,026, were also reported in Jilin province, according to the NHC. Jilin province city Jilin has locked 504 neighborhoods and launched eight rounds of mass testing, the municipal government said.
Two major Chinese cities – the northeastern industrial hub Changchun and the southern economic hub Shenzhen – are under lockdown, with more than 26 million residents banned from leaving their homes.
Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, recorded 66 positive cases on Saturday, and health authorities announced in a press release on Sunday evening that from March 14 to March 20, all businesses in the city – except those considered significant or supplies Hong Kong – suspend operations or introduce work from home.
Public transportation has also been suspended, as well as indoor dining, while all public venues except grocery stores and pharmacies have been closed, authorities said.
Shenzhen will conduct three rounds of mass PCR testing for all residents during the shutdown, according to the announcement. Residents have been advised to avoid leaving the city unless necessary and those traveling must present a negative PCR result issued within 24 hours of their departure.
Major Apple supplier Foxconn announced that it was suspending its activities in Shenzhen to comply with Covid-19 restrictions in the city.
“The resumption date of the plant must be advised by the local government,” Foxconn said, adding “Because of our diversified production sites in China, we have adjusted the production line to minimize the potential impact.”
The restrictions imposed on Shenzhen seem less stringent than those on Changchun, a city of 9 million that stepped into a strict lockdown on Friday. Residents there have been banned from leaving their homes, while only one person per. household is allowed to go shopping every other day.
The city launched a “2 + 12” policy that gives people in the same neighborhood, workplace or school with close contacts to Covid cases a mandate to follow two days of home isolation and 12 days of health monitoring, according to the municipal government. The city also advised its 24.87 million inhabitants not to leave the city unless necessary.
Chinese officials have been under pressure to bring outbreaks under control and have been reprimanded by higher administrations for “poor performance” as cases grow.
China has fired at least 26 officials this month in cities where outbreaks have taken place, including a mayor and a director of the Jilin Provincial Health Commission, and a deputy mayor and deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Police.
CNN’s Eric Cheung, Wayne Chang, Yong Xiong and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.