Tough days for China


China’s daily Covid cases have hit a record high since the beginning of the pandemic, official data showed, as the country works to curb the spread with snap lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions. China recorded 31,454 domestic cases — 27,517 without symptoms — on Wednesday.The numbers are relatively small when compared with China’s vast population of 1.4 billion. But under Beijing’s strict zero-Covid policy, even tiny outbreaks can shut down entire cities and place contacts of infected patients into strict quarantine.

The unrelenting policy has caused fatigue and resentment among swathes of the population as the pandemic nears its third year, sparking sporadic protests and hitting productivity in the world’s second-largest economy. Wednesday’s figures exceed the 29,390 infections recorded in mid-April when megacity Shanghai was under lockdown, with residents struggling to buy food and access medical care.