China reports 24,473 new COVID-19 cases; some Beijing businesses shut

Beijing reported 79 symptomatic and 436 asymptomatic cases for Friday compared with 100 symptomatic and 366 asymptomatic cases the previous day, government data showed.

Beijing authorities are on high alert in the hope of preventing the numerous Omicron variant outbreaks in other cities from spreading to the capital.

The latest data for the country showed 24,263 new domestically transmitted cases, of which 2,055 were symptomatic and 22,208 were asymptomatic, down from 25,129 the previous day.

That daily tally is approaching the highs of when the financial hub of Shanghai was locked down earlier in the year.

This time, however, the cases are distributed across numerous cities, where authorities are weighing the costs and benefits of loosening policies that have damaged businesses.

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