China has locked down two major cities – Shenzhen in Guangdong and Changchun in Jilin province – after virus outbreaks were reported in different parts of the country on Sunday.

A total of 3,122 Covid-19 cases were identified across 19 provinces in mainland China on Sunday, including 2,156 cases in Jilin province. At least 26 officials in Guangdong, Jilin and Shandong provinces have been removed for failing to contain the virus over the past few weeks.

Chinese health experts said Chinese cities should maintain a “dynamic zero Covid” policy, but avoid having prolonged lockdowns as the Omicron variant was less lethal than the previous strains. They said China should strike a balance between virus control and economic growth.