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Commuters ride scooters along a street in the central business district in Beijing, on October 28, 2022. Image Credit: AP

BEIJING: China’s largest city of Shanghai is ordering mass testing on Friday on all 1.3 million residents of its downtown Yangpu district and confining them to their homes at least until results are known.

The mass testing is an echo of measures ordered over the summer that led to a two-month lockdown of the entire city of 25 million. At the start of the lockdown, authorities said they would last just days but then kept extending the deadline.

China has shown no sign of backing away from its “zero-COVID’’ policy. Strict measures have been imposed across the country, from Shanghai in the east to Tibet far to the west.

Many Chinese had hoped for a relaxation of the strict anti-COVID-19 protocols, which remain in place even while the rest of the world has opened up. China’s borders remain largely closed and arrivals must undergo a 10-day quarantine at a designated space.

Despite its costs, and the World Health Organization calling it unsustainable, China credits the strategy with keeping case numbers and deaths at a fraction of those in other countries.

China on Friday reported a 1,337 new cases — most of them asymptomatic — and no new deaths. Shanghai reported 11 asymptomatic cases and Tibet had one confirmed case with symptoms and five asymptomatic cases. China says it has recorded a total of 258,660 cases and 5,226 deaths since the pandemic was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

In a sign China’s tough measures will be maintained in the long term, Shanghai plans to build a permanent quarantine center on an island in the Huangpu River that divides the financial hub, according to the business magazine Caixin.

The 1.6-billion-yuan ($221 million) project on Fuxing Island will expand existing facilities to create 3,009 isolation rooms and 3,250 beds, with construction expected to be completed in six months, Caixin said.

Chinese authorities also have not mandated vaccination — entering an office building or other public places requires a negative COVID-19 test, not proof of vaccination.

Meanwhile, authorities on Wednesday ordered the lockdown of 900,000 people in Wuhan for at least five days. In remote Qinghai province, the urban districts of Xining city have been locked down since last Friday.

In Beijing, Universal Studios has closed its hotels and attractions “to comply with pandemic prevention and control.’’