China has increased its COVID limitations and lockdowns as its daily infection rates have reached an all-time high.
On Wednesday, it registered 31,444 new COVID-19 instances, surpassing the previous peak in April, when Shanghai was under a two-month-long lockdown.
It is also the most significant daily total since the virus was first found in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.
Its zero-COVID policy continues to generate demonstrations, especially in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, where there have been fights at a massive iPhone-manufacturing Foxconn factory.
Frustrated by COVID restrictions, even a promise of a substantial boost in compensation has not prevented a mass flight of workers from the site.
Apple stated that it has personnel at the site and is "working closely with Foxconn to resolve the concerns of its employees."
Protests have erupted across China as the number and intensity of outbreaks increase, a rare occurrence of open discontent in China.
Authorities in Zhengzhou have planned a five-day lockdown, including mass testing in eight of the city's districts. Zhengzhou is the most recent city to reinstate daily tests for millions of residents.
Its 6,6 million citizens have been ordered to remain in their homes, except to purchase food and medicine.
As a result of an increase in cases, Beijing citizens are required to provide proof that they are negative for the COVID virus to enter any public facility.
To enter shopping centers, hotels, government buildings, and enterprises, officials in the Chinese capital require documentation of a negative coronavirus test within the past 48 hours.
Additionally, restrictions have been tightened in the port city of Guangzhou and the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang.
Earlier this month, Beijing and many other cities promised to ease stringent lockdown restrictions.
This Monday, China announced its first three COVID-related deaths in six months, raising the total number of cases to 5,232, and tougher controls are being reinstated.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the country has remained low by international standards, and some fear that the severe pandemic restrictions are stifling the world's second-largest economy and are becoming increasingly out of step with the rest of the world.
However, China's leadership has maintained its stance, which includes some of the world's harshest restrictions, citing the need to save lives and prevent the medical system from getting overloaded.
In places where positive coronavirus cases or their close contacts have been found, millions of residents have been restricted to their homes, subjected to mass testing programs, and endured abrupt lockdowns due to the zero-COVID policy.
In August, officials attempted to prevent customers from leaving an Ikea store in the Xuhui neighborhood of Shanghai after discovering that a consumer had been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID.
Last month, the Shanghai Disney Resort became the most recent large venue to close its gates, barring all guests from leaving until they had tested negative for the virus.