The largest of the most recent outbreaks in China is in Guangzhou, where COVID-19 infections are now exceeding 5,000 per day for the first time, fueling fears that localized lockdowns may become more widespread.

Videos of rowdy scenes in Guangzhou's Haizhu area of people running through streets and arguing with workers wearing white hazmat suits were extensively circulated on Twitter. Since Twitter is restricted in China, multiple hashtags pertaining to the local "riots" were removed by Tuesday morning from Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

In a demonstration of popular outrage at coronavirus curbs, crowds of people broke through COVID-19 barriers and marched down streets in chaotic scenes on Monday (Nov. 14) night in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, according to videos posted online.

China reported 17,772 new local COVID-19 infections for November 14, up from 16,072 the day before and the highest number since April, even though many cities reduced routine testing after officials announced last week's announcement of measures meant to lessen the impact of strict coronavirus curbs.

A record 462 new illnesses were reported on Monday in the Chinese capital Beijing. Among the worst-hit were major cities Chongqing and Zhengzhou.

Although many locals voiced cautious hope following Friday's news that parts of the strict COVID-19 restrictions would be relaxed, worries about the growing outbreaks increased this week, and there was uncertainty as several localities suspended or altered routine testing, raising fears.

Even so, even three years into the pandemic, China is still attempting to mitigate the harm caused by its zero-COVID policy as the most recent in a string of gloomy economic statistics revealed that retail sales declined in October and industry output increased more slowly than anticipated.

A COVID-19 outbreak at a sizable Foxconn plant that manufactures Apple iPhones in Zhengzhou this month created chaos, prompting many employees to evacuate, sometimes by scaling fences, which slowed down production. Guangzhou, which has a population of about 19 million, officials said they intend to build more temporary hospitals in addition to the six that have already been constructed and have 20,000 beds, primarily for the surveillance of infected individuals without symptoms.

The government's resolve to advocate for the relaxation of COVID-19 control measures would be put to the test, JP Morgan analysts said. Approximately three times as many people live in cities with more than 10 new cumulative cases in the last week, according to a JPMorgan estimate of 780 million residents and 62.2% of the nation's GDP.