Beijing reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases for its current outbreak, reigniting fears that China’s capital will be placed under lockdown as authorities work to stop the virus’s spread in the community.

On Sunday, the city recorded 99 infections, up from 61 on Saturday. While the total remains low, the spike is one of the largest since the outbreak began, with the case count typically hovering around 50 per day.

The growing outbreak in Beijing highlights the difficulties of China’s Covid Zero strategy, with the unprecedented shutdown of Shanghai serving as a cautionary tale of how early mistakes can lead to rapid spread of a virus that China is still attempting to eradicate. In the face of highly transmissible variants, the strategy has become increasingly controversial, leaving the country isolated from the rest of the world despite harsh containment measures, even as officials seek ways to mitigate the economic fallout.

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