China’s ruling party called for strict adherence to the hard-line “zero-COVID” policy Tuesday in an apparent attempt to guide public perceptions after regulations were eased slightly in places, the Associated Press reported. The news may disappoint Chinese citizens who have clashed with police and COVID workers to show their frustration at lockdowns and restrictions on movement. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, said in an editorial that China must “unswervingly implement” the policy that requires mass obligatory testing and places millions under lockdown to try to eliminate the coronavirus from the nation of 1.4 billion people and the world’s second-largest economy.
The news comes as known U.S. cases of COVID are climbing again for the first time in a few months. The daily average for new cases stood at 39,459 on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker, up 4% versus two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was up 1% at 27,662, while the daily average for deaths is down 13% to 302. Globally, the confirmed case tally rose above 635.5 million on Tuesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins, while the death toll is above 6.61 million with the U.S leading the world with 98 million cases and 1,074,688 fatalities.