Sporadic Covid-19 outbreaks have continued across China during the country’s largest annual political gathering, but only six local cases were recorded on Tuesday in Beijing, and will not affect the “ two sessions ” meetings of lawmakers and senior advisers. In contrast, Guangdong continued to battle a surge in imported cases, mostly from neighbouring Hong Kong – with 22 of its 39 infections acquired elsewhere originating in the city of 7.4 million people. The southern province has become collateral damage in Hong Kong’s spiralling outbreak, which continues to worsen with more than 30,000 new cases on Tuesday. Experts said the most virulent wave may have peaked in Hong Kong about a week ago and predicted a significant drop in daily cases to fewer than 1,000 by late next month. Beijing remains a safe region, with four local cases in Chaoyang district and two in Haidian, as well as five imported infections – two from Hong Kong and the remainder from South Korea and Denmark. The National Health Commission said on Wednesday that 233 local symptomatic infections were detected nationally on the previous day, an increase on the 175 found on Monday. Tuesday’s cases were distributed across 15 provinces and autonomous regions, including Jilin in the northeast, which recorded 94 cases across three of its cities, and Shandong on the eastern coastline, with 59 cases mainly in the port city of Qingdao. In addition to Guangdong’s tally, Shanghai and southwestern Sichuan province recorded 26 and 13 imported cases, respectively, to bring the national total to 104. Beijing is already on high alert for the “two sessions”, or lianghui , where nearly 5,000 of the country’s political elites have converged for 6½ days of meetings. What next for China’s dynamic zero-Covid strategy? The municipal health commission advised the public to avoid leaving the city unless necessary. “Please continue to refrain from travelling to medium- and high-risk regions as well as those with reported cases,” it said. “Do not participate in large-scale training or conferences across provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.” Nine regions in the country have been categorised as high-risk, including cities in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Shandong province, the port city of Tianjin, and Dongguan in Guangdong. A total of 138 areas were listed as medium-risk. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Saturday the country would continue with “routine” epidemic control measures, including the prevention of outbreaks introduced from overseas and any resurgence in local cases. However, the measures would be fine-tuned to minimise disruptions to economic growth, he said. Last month, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said several teams were studying ways to improve the current response, as the stringent measures had left private companies and the self-employed struggling to survive. As of February 25, more than 87 per cent of the Chinese population, or over 1.23 billion people, had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.