China on Sunday announced its first death due to Covid-19 in nearly six months amid a surge in cases of the disease, the Associated Press reported, citing the National Health Commission.

The previous death due to the coronavirus was recorded on May 26 in Shanghai.

The country has recorded a total of 5,227 deaths due to Covid-19 till now.

Since October, coronavirus cases have been rising in China despite strict measures to control the infection. Municipal officials in Beijing said that 621 local cases had been detected in the capital on Sunday, AFP reported.

The National Health Commission said that over 24,000 local cases have been detected across the country in the past 24 hours.

The rise in cases comes at a time when China, on November 11, reduced the duration of compulsory quarantine for international travellers that was previously prescribed under the country’s stringent zero-Covid policy.

The policy, which includes large-scale restrictions on travel and mass testing, has been described as unsustainable by World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom in May.

Meanwhile, the southern city of Guangzhou registered over 8,000 cases on Sunday, prompting authorities to launch a general screening in the city’s Haizu district.

Last week, protests against a renewed lockdown took place in Guangzhou, during which agitators clashed with the police.