COVID-19 in China: 6 million people confined, violent demonstrations | Coronavirus

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COVID-19 in China: 6 million people confined, violent protests | Coronavirus

< p class="styled__StyledLegend-sc-v64krj-0 cfqhYM">Access to an industrial zone in central China's Zhengzhou city was suspended on Wednesday after the city reported dozens of COVID cases -19.

Zhengzhou, a city in central China that hosts a huge iPhone factory, on Thursday ordered the confinement of six million people after an outbreak of COVID-19 led to violent protests at the industrial site.

Hundreds of workers marched past the factory on Wednesday and faced police armed with batons and dressed in full white protective suits.

In the aftermath, Zhengzhou authorities ordered a major screening campaign in several districts of the city. These neighborhoods are locked down for five days from Friday midnight.

Downtown residents can no longer leave the area without a negative PCR test and permission from local authorities. They are advised not to leave their homes unless necessary.

Workers at Apple's largest iPhone factory in the world have been beaten and detained during protests over wages and COVID-19 health checks 19.

These measures concern several districts, affecting about half of the inhabitants of Zhengzhou. They do not cover the area of ​​the iPhone factory, where workers have already been under restrictions for several weeks.

A worker told AFP that the protests began due to a controversy over the amount of a bonus promised to factory workers, owned by Taiwanese giant Foxconn, Apple's main subcontractor.

According to this worker, the bonus would have been reduced from 3000 to 30 yuan (from 560 to $5.5) , which would have caused strong dissatisfaction among the staff.

Several employees are also incensed by the chaotic living conditions at the site due to anti-COVID restrictions, said this worker, who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid possible retaliation.

Protesters at the Foxconn Technology Group factory, the main production center for the iPhone Pro and Pro Max, the two most expensive models.

Foxconn has apologized Thursday, claiming that a technical error in its payment system was at the root of the problem around the bonuses. The group said it fully understands workers' concerns.

The company will also do its best to proactively resolve concerns and reasonable requests from employees, the company said. Taiwanese company.

American giant Apple, whose flagship product is the iPhone, told AFP on Thursday that it has representatives on site.

The California group is reviewing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure their employees' concerns are addressed, he said.

Last month, workers, panicked by the unexpected confinement of the factory, fled the site on foot.

In China, it is the image of World Cup spectators without masks that fuels protest, so much so that violent demonstrations have broke out today in a large Chinese factory that has been confined since the beginning of the month. Report by Yasmine Khayat.

Under China's strict zero-COVID health policy, the slightest spike in cases leads to shutting down entire cities and placing positive people in quarantine. #x27; today the weariness of a large part of the population. And the number of infections is skyrocketing.

The Ministry of Health on Thursday announced a new record for the number of people tested positive in 24 hours, at 31,444 local cases , including 27,517 asymptomatic.

This number exceeds the previous record (29,317) recorded in mid-April when the metropolis of Shanghai was confined.

The Omicron variant has hit hard the inhabitants of Shanghai, who were placed under confinement in the spring.

However, these figures appear low in view of the Chinese population (1.4 billion inhabitants) and the records observed in Western countries.

Several other major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing have also tightened restrictions.

The capital now requires a negative PCR test within 48 hours to enter public places such as shopping malls, hotels and administrative buildings.

Many schools have switched to distance learning. Most restaurants, bars and businesses are closed.

The manufacturing center of Guangzhou (south), the epicenter of the current wave of COVID, has built thousands of rooms of & #x27;temporary hospital to accommodate patients.

On November 11, the government announced an optimization of anti-COVID restrictions, with the relaxation of several measures, including the reduction the length of quarantines, especially for travelers arriving from overseas.

Shijiazhuang, a township neighboring Beijing that was considered a pilot city to test this reopening strategy , has backtracked on most easing, as have other localities.

The road to reopening could be slow, costly and bumpy, Ting Lu said in a note , Economist for Nomura Bank.

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