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China blocks Shenzhen throughout Jilin Province as Covid swells

(Bloomberg)-China shuts down 17.5 million residents in a city in southern Shenzhen for at least a week, causing major Apple Inc. suppliers to stop production at key technology hubs, leaving Jilin for the first time. Forbidden. The entire state has been blocked since the dramatic blockade of Wuhan and Hubei in 2020.

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The blockade of Shenzhen after the virus cases have doubled to nearly 3,400 nationwide will involve three high-volume tests throughout the city. Called on Sunday with little notice, this order is subject to previous restrictions imposed on Shenzhen’s Central Business District. It will continue until March 20th.

In the 24 million northeastern Jilin provinces adjacent to Russia and North Korea, people, especially those in the capital of Changchun and the cities bearing the name of Jilin province, are urged not to leave or travel. It’s been found. Changchun, a city of about 9 million, was already closed last week, forcing Toyota to shut down its factories there.

In Shenzhen, all bus and subway systems have been closed and businesses except those that provide critical services have been closed. Employees were told to work from home if possible. High-tech giants Huawei Technologies Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., and one of the busiest ports in China (except in limited circumstances). Shenzhen Yantian Harbor has been strengthened by Covid, but is still in operation.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, an Apple supplier known as Foxconn, said it has shut down its site in Shenzhen, one of which manufactures the iPhone. Chip maker Umicron Technology Corp said it would redistribute production to other plants in the country. Also stopped production.

Read more: Foxconn shuts down iPhone Shenzhen site due to Covid blockade

The proliferation of infections in Shenzhen is believed to be associated with an unlimited outbreak in neighboring Hong Kong, from a small number of cases to over 30,000 in about a month. With the rekindling of Covid in Shanghai, most schools are returning to online learning. Bus services from other states will be suspended over the weekend, and Chinese aviation regulators are discussing diversion of all international flights to financial centers, according to Bloomberg News.

Read more: China is trying to divert flights from Shanghai as Covid surges

The Jilin seal is the first state-wide blockade after China blocked more than 50 million people in Hubei province in early 2020 and suppressed the deadly spread following the emergence of the coronavirus in the state capital Wuhan. Jilin is one of the largest mineral reserves in China and is a major agricultural area, its industry is mainly concentrated in the grain, timber, automobile and rail sectors.

For example, the refinery of China National Petroleum Corporation in Jilin produces petrochemicals and plastics that are trucked to factories that manufacture automobiles and other industrial parts.

The growth of clusters produced by infectious Omicron variants in China’s most developed metropolitan areas and economies has become an unprecedented challenge for China’s Covid Zero strategy.

This policy, which has eliminated long-term viruses and gave China one of the lowest mortality rates among major economies, is increasingly isolating the country as other parts of the world are infected and alive. I am.

So far, authorities have largely resisted more hardcore measures such as blockades in China’s largest cities and relied on targeted responses, but only saw Omicron continue to spread. China has isolated all Covid cases, regardless of severity, as a way to stop the spread.

Why China Sticks to Covid Zero Strategy: QuickTake

Investors responded to the news by selling stocks related to tourism and the reopening of China, and buying a rapid antigen test kit maker after China began allowing general use on Friday. The Macau Casino index has fallen by as much as 10% to a record low. Lockdowns and outbreaks can limit gamblers from the mainland, especially from the adjacent Guangdong.

Cases have occurred throughout China, and Omicron has also occurred in Beijing and the nearby coastal city of Tianjin. Infections have also been reported in Jiangsu Province, which is adjacent to Shanghai, and in many cities in Guangdong Province, the country’s manufacturing powerhouse.

The worst outbreak was in Jilin, with more than 1,000 cases reported in the community on Sunday, with 3,868 people pre-positive for Covid as of 12:00 pm on Monday.

Authorities reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic in Wuhan are moving quickly to build temporary hospitals in the port cities of Jilin Province and eastern Qingdao. Reported by quoting the company.

Covid Zero’s tactics caused turmoil in other cities, with multiple mass tests in Tianjin in January, shutting production at another Toyota plant for more than a week. This approach makes it difficult for Beijing to reach its 2022 economic growth target. Nomura Holdings says, as the cost of countermeasures rises. Still, China repeated its commitment to Covid Zero on Friday, and Supreme Health Authority Ma Xiaowei needs to maintain strict controls, officials saying “war-tired from their work.”

As of March 9, 14 states in China have been declared high- or medium-risk for the virus, accounting for 54.4% of GDP, according to Bloomberg Economics.

China’s Insight: 54.4% of GDP Affected by Virus Flag Growth Risk

Covid’s surge in Hong Kong has brought Beijing an unprecedented challenge. Strict border control and weeks of quarantine in the city are no match for Omicron once in the city. Thousands of people have left the Asian financial hub and returned to the mainland. Some of the busiest port of entry in Shenzhen and Shanghai.

Hong Kong’s health system and morgue are under pressure from record outbreaks, making it one of the highest mortality rates in the world. The number of virus cases in Hong Kong seems to have leveled off in the past week, but the number of deaths has increased in particular. Among the elderly, some had the lowest vaccination rates, despite their high vulnerabilities.

CEO Carrie Lam said the Hong Kong government is still developing plans for compulsory inspections of all residents, including when and how to allow essential operations to continue in the event of mobility restrictions. Says. She said she would vaccinate older people living in long-term care facilities, where deaths are on the rise, and increase the number of beds to treat patients.

Read more: Hong Kong Nursing Home is a hotbed of unvaccinated Covid

Hong Kong, a supporter of Covid Zero, also pushed the boundaries of its strategy by scrambling authorities after Omicron passed through strict border defenses. Similar to what was seen in the early days of the pandemic in parts of Italy, the density and political situation in Hong Kong in the United States has made the blockade difficult and, despite pressure from Beijing authorities, has so far called it. I’m resisting that.

Rapid test

China is still committed to eradicating Covid, but there are at least signs that national health officials and experts are looking at ways to end the approach and live with the virus as endemic.

China approved Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxrovid last month, which was seen by many as evidence of its plans. The introduction of rapid antigen testing on Friday is also a sign, and other countries are moving to the use of home testing. When their lab test system was overwhelmed by the broader circulation of the virus.

That said, the shift is slow and unlikely to happen by 2023, given the need for politically significant year stability for President Xi Jinping, people familiar with Chinese thinking told Bloomberg. rice field.

Zhang Wenhong, one of China’s top infectious disease experts advising the Shanghai government, said in a social media post on Monday that Omicron is less toxic than other variants but sticks to Covid Zero when it opens. It leads to excessive death with the hospital that said it needs to be done.

Zhang pointed out that “quite many” elderly people and people with underlying illnesses have not yet been vaccinated due to concerns about the side effects of firing, and if the infection is widespread, “unthinkable results”. It will be.

China has expressed concern about vaccination rates for the elderly in some areas in the past. Nearly 90% of the country’s 1.4 billion people are fully vaccinated, but do not provide numerical details for any particular age group.

(Updated from the first paragraph with the blockade of Jilin Province.)

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