China has reported a record number of daily COVID-19 infections, as a nationwide surge in cases heaps pressure on the country's increasingly unpopular zero-tolerance approach to the virus.
Some 31,444 locally transmitted cases were recorded on Wednesday – surpassing the previous peak of 29,317 recorded April 13 during Shanghai's months-long lockdown.
The surge is being fuelled by outbreaks in multiple cities and comes despite a refusal by authorities to end tight infection prevention controls even in the face of an increasing – and unprecedented – backlash.
A trickle of COVID-related fatalities has added further pressure to the mix.
Beijing on Wednesday recorded its fourth COVID-related death since last weekend, alongside 1,648 local infections – its third consecutive day of more than 1,000 local cases.