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China’s Silicon Valley Shenzhen suspends production and suspends Covid control

People wait for nucleic acid samples in Shanghai, China, March 12, 2022.

Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Beijing — Mainland China has faced the worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic was curbed in 2020, and major cities are rushing to limit their business activities.

Shenzhen, the largest manufacturing base in Guangdong, has told all companies that are not involved in critical public services to stop production or have employees work from home for a week starting Monday. Responds to CNBC’s request for comment.

The city, sometimes referred to as China’s “Silicon Valley,” has closed public transport and has begun a third test throughout the city. Shenzhen has reported more than 400 confirmed cases since late February.

These numbers and cases across China are inferior to those of other countries, but the surge in cases over the past few days has helped local governments curb the outbreak as China seeks to maintain its zero-corona strategy. I’m in a hurry to try.

Shanghai, a large coastal city with many foreign and financial companies in China, has returned schools to online classes. Blockades and mass testing are being conducted in some areas, and residents are usually unable to leave until the results are negative.

On Saturday, the city told residents not to leave Shanghai unless absolutely necessary. More than 600 confirmed cases have been found since late February.

Jilin Province in northern China reported a total of more than 2,900 cases this month as of Sunday, with more than 1,000 cases of newly localized coronavirus surged overnight last weekend.

In total, mainland China reported 1,437 new confirmed cases as of Sunday, 100 of which were caused by international travelers and were infected in a total of 8,531 active cases in the country. This is the highest since March 2020. No new deaths have been reported.

Hong Kong, a cross-border special administrative region of Shenzhen, has been fighting the resurgence of Covid cases in the past few weeks. This region has the highest number of new Covid-related deaths per million people in the world, according to Our World in Data. ..

The outbreak in Hong Kong was due to a highly contagious subspecies of Omicron and then spread to the mainland.

Beijing on alert

The Beijing capital said on Sunday that it identified six sources of the latest handful of municipal cases, most of which were reported in the downtown and eastern parts of the city. Local governments said those returning to Beijing should not attend the rally for seven days after arrival.

The capital has had one of the strictest Covid management policies in the country for months. Travelers show a negative Covid test 48 hours before entering Beijing and must take another test within 72 hours of arrival. If you visit the place where the case was confirmed, you are not allowed to enter the city.

After the emergence of Covid-19 in Wuhan in late 2019, mainland China closed more than half of the country in February 2020 to curb its outbreak. The virus was suppressed within a few weeks in the country, but Covid spread abroad in a pandemic.

According to data from John’s Hopkins, as of Monday, Germany had the highest number of new cases in 28 days, with 5.2 million and 4.8 million, respectively, following South Korea, and the United States had more than 967,000 as of Beijing on Monday morning. Records the dead. time.

Zero Corona does not disappear

Mainland China has maintained a strict “Zero Corona” policy for the past two years. Travel bans and the possibility of a swift blockade weigh heavily on domestic tourism and service businesses, pushing consumer spending down.

The annual parliamentary meeting closing Friday showed no sign that the central government plans to loosen its Covid control policy, but official statements in recent months have added terms such as “dynamic.”

Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chunlan said at a government meeting on epidemic measures on Saturday that the country should continue to follow the “dynamic” Zero-COVID policy and take all steps to prevent a major virus recurrence.

Her remarks released by the national media ended with a call to prepare the way to the top meeting of the ruling Chinese Communist Party later this year. China’s President Xi Jinping is expected to enter an unprecedented third term at the conference.

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Abandoning the Zero-COVID policy “may be seen as admitting that the strategy didn’t work in the first place,” Nomura’s chief China economist Tin Lu said in a Friday memo.

“The next 12 months will be an important time for a 10-year leadership change, which will force top leaders to stick to the status quo to avoid policy mistakes,” he said. Covid patients treated outside the overwhelming hospital further convinced Chinese authorities and the public that ZCS was China’s only viable solution to the coronavirus. “

In November, China’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study stating that the transition to coexistence strategies in other countries could result in hundreds of thousands of new daily cases and devastate the national health system.

However, Lu said the economic costs of the Zero-COVID strategy are rising, but profits are declining.

“In a round of blockades and travel bans across China, more individuals feel pinched, exhausted, unemployed or underemployed, and run out of savings to the point where they have to cut spending. “He said.

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