Shanghai records 21,000 new COVID-19 cases
Shanghai on Friday, announced a record of 21,000 new cases and a third consecutive day of COVID-19 testing as a lockdown of its 26 million people showed no sign of easing and Chinese cities tightened curbs.
Beijing insists that, the country stick to its elimination approach to COVID-19 which it says is essential to keeping death rates low and preventing its medical system from breaking down.
Local authorities across China, which mostly managed to keep COVID-19 at bay for the last two years, are stepping up coronavirus control measures, including movement restrictions, mass testing and new quarantine centres.
Beijing has strengthened regular screening for employees in the city’s key sectors, requiring all staff at elderly care agencies, schools and institutions handling imported goods to take tests at least once a week.
Nomura this week estimated that 23 Chinese cities have implemented either full or partial lockdowns.
An analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, Ernan Cui, who studies COVID-19 policies announced by China’s 100 largest cities said, “Most were choosing to keep restrictions in place even after case numbers returned to zero.
“The extremely widespread COVID-19 restrictions beyond Shanghai, and the risk-averse attitude of both central and local government officials, suggest that the economic impact of the various lockdowns will not ease in a matter of days or even weeks.”
The cities collectively are home to an estimated 193 million people and contribute 22% of China’s GDP. These include Changchun, a major manufacturing hub that has been locked down for 28 days.