Chinese authorities are reporting that COVID-19 infections in the nation of 1.4 billion people have declined for the first time in several weeks.
Local COVID-19 infections totaled 38,421, down from a record high of 40,052, according to Chinese government estimates. The last time that daily case counts fell within China was on November 19. Additionally, no new COVID-19 deaths have been reported.
However, the capital city of Beijing and financial hub of Shanghai each saw infections rise in recent days, though on a smaller scale. There were no new protests reported in either city following civil unrest over the weekend.
Ongoing COVID-19 controls have hurt business activity and economic growth in China. As of the third quarter, national gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3% year-over-year, below the official target of 5.5%.
Officials in Shanghai continue to tighten COVID-19 restrictions, announcing a ban on entering restaurants, shopping malls and other commercial venues. Anyone wanting to enter those places must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours.