BEIJING (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) – Wuxi, a Chinese manufacturing hub, tightened its Covid-19 control measures on Sunday (July 3) after reporting 31 new coronavirus cases, as the country continues battling clusters of the disease under a zero-Covid-19 policy.

The city in the Yangtze Delta on China’s central coast halted operations at many public venues located underground, including shops and supermarkets. Dine-in services in restaurants were suspended, and the government advised people to work from home.

Xuzhou, another city in Jiangsu, asked residents to not leave the city unless it was necessary.

In eastern China’s Anhui province, a second county came under lockdown this week after a surge in Covid-19 cases stoked fears of a widespread outbreak.

A county-wide lockdown was imposed in Lingbi in north-eastern Anhui from 4pm on Friday, the local government said in a statement. All residents must stay indoors unless they attend Covid-19 testing at designated locations, it said. 

The lockdown followed similar steps in neighbouring Si county last Wednesday after a local flare-up. Si county conducted its fifth mass testing on Saturday. 

China reported 473 new Covid-19 cases for July 2, of which 104 were symptomatic and 369 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.

This compares with 268 new cases a day earlier – 72 symptomatic and 196 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

There were no new deaths, keeping the nation’s death toll to 5,226. As at Saturday, the mainland had confirmed 225,851 cases with symptoms.

China’s capital, Beijing, reported no new local cases, while financial centre Shanghai reported two local symptomatic cases, according to data from the local governments. Both cities reported zero cases the previous day, either symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Most of the cases on July 2 were from Anhui province, where 61 symptomatic and 231 asymptomatic cases were reported.