Shanghai is reporting a record number of Covid cases as more Chinese cities tighten controls to quell the spread
Shanghai on Saturday reported a record number of symptomatic Covid-19 cases, and other areas across China tightened controls as the country maintained its “dynamic release” approach aimed at stamping out the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone, a central China manufacturing zone that includes Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn, yesterday announced a 14-day lockdown “to be adjusted according to the epidemic situation.”
In northwest China, the city of Xian urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel outside their residential areas and encouraged companies to let employees work from home or live at their workplace after dozens of Covid-19 infections emerged this month .
A Xian government official, responding to residents’ concerns about potential food shortages, said today the announcement did not constitute a lockdown and the city would not impose one.
The city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, said today that all employees who are able to work from home must do so, and residential complexes and company campuses should avoid unnecessary entry of people and vehicles. More than 500 infections were reported in its last outbreak.
Shanghai itself, which has been at the center of China’s latest Covid surge from early March, today reported a record 3,590 symptomatic cases for April 15, along with 19,923 asymptomatic cases. The number of asymptomatic cases increased slightly from 19,872 cases the day before.
The city’s case numbers account for the vast majority of cases across the country, even though most of its 25 million residents remain in lockdown.
China’s “Dynamic Clearance” policy aims to quickly contain sporadic outbreaks as soon as they occur. An op-ed in the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said the approach was the “best choice at this stage based on the current epidemic situation in China.”
However, the ongoing restrictions prompted Japan’s consul-general in Shanghai, in a letter published today on the consulate’s website, to urge the local government to address the concerns of Japanese companies.
Domestic support for a zero-Covid policy has waned in recent weeks as virus-related restrictions have fueled food shortages, family splits, lost wages and economic woes.
SUPPLY CHAIN DISTURBANCES
Analysts say widespread supply chain disruptions are likely to delay shipments from companies like Apple and weigh on the country’s economic growth rate this year.
China’s central bank on Friday night cut the amount of cash banks are required to hold in reserves to cushion a sharp slowdown in growth, although the cut was smaller than widely expected.
Goldman Sachs analysts called for further monetary easing.
“Policymakers may gravitate towards using more fiscal measures (like accelerating construction of major infrastructure projects) and targeted monetary easing (like extending and rediscounting) as the main policy levers going forward,” they said in a statement.
In the Zhengzhou Economic Zone, only personnel with valid passports, health codes and proof of negative Covid tests will be able to exit the zone during the two-week period, although “special vehicles” for local work reasons will be able to travel normally, authorities said in a post on a official WeChat instant messaging account.
Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, referred Reuters to its statement Thursday, saying its Zhengzhou plant is cooperating with the government’s disease control work and that plant operations are normal.
Overall, China reported 24,791 new coronavirus cases as of April 15, of which 3,896 were symptomatic and 20,895 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/shanghai-reports-record-number-of-covid-cases-as-more-chinese-cities-tighten-controls-to-suppress-spread-41559315.html Shanghai is reporting a record number of Covid cases as more Chinese cities tighten controls to quell the spread