China sees highest COVID cases since Wuhan

STORY: Hundreds queue to be tested for COVID-19 in northeast China,

as the country battles its biggest surge in cases since Wuhan in 2020.

More than 3,500 new infections were reported on Monday - the majority were found here - in northeast Jilin province.

Home to 24 million people, they have now been banned from traveling in and out of the province without notifying local police.

In the past week, new COVID cases have been reported in Beijing and the financial hub Shanghai where schools, parks and cinemas have been closed and long-distance travel suspended.

China's aviation regulator said that more than 100 international flights scheduled to arrive in the city will be diverted to other places.

Shanghai resident Li Yiqing says people are prepared.

"I think the epidemic this year is worse than the first year. But we Shanghainese people aren’t really panicking, unlike the first year when everyone was panicking. Now no one is panicking and their attention to self-protection is quite good. Many people have food and vegetable stored at home, just in case their community or office suddenly locks down.”

Further south in the city of Shenzhen, China's Silicon Valley, officials have temporarily suspended public transport and urged people to work from home.

The worsening outbreak is testing President Xi Jinping's zero Covid strategy.

While China's case load is still tiny by global standards, health experts say the next few weeks will be crucial.

They will determine whether, in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, China can get on top of this latest outbreak.