The coronavirus continues to put pressure on China.

The death toll in Shanghai rose to 87 dead on Sunday, while Beijing called for "action without delay" after a rebound in positive Covid-19 cases in the Chinese capital.

China, which has been facing its worst epidemic outbreak in two years in recent weeks, has since the beginning of April confined almost all of the 25 million inhabitants of its economic capital Shanghai, the epicenter of the contagion.

The metropolis announced on Sunday the death of 39 people due to Covid-19, which brings the total number since the start of confinement to at least 87.

A rather weak official record

Since the appearance of the coronavirus, initially detected in central China at the end of 2019, the country has managed to limit the total toll to less than 5,000 dead and less than 200,000 contaminations, if we stick to official figures, much lower than international counts.

But the Omicron variant hit the inhabitants of Shanghai hard, placed under confinement for an indefinite period, in sometimes Spartan conditions.

The low mortality is a concern, especially since vaccination rates are low among the oldest.

The 39 deaths concern elderly people suffering from pathologies such as hypertension, the authorities said.

And nearly 22,000 new positive cases were also recorded on Sunday in Shanghai.

China's largest city has totaled nearly half a million cases since early March.

More than a thousand kilometers away, the capital Beijing has also reported 22 cases and warned that “urgent” action is needed to stop the contagion.

"The situation is serious, the whole city must act without delay," Beijing health official Pang Xinghuo said on Saturday, noting that the virus has probably spread "invisibly" in recent days.

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