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China sticks to Zero Covid and manages the outbreak of one local city at a time

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, workers wearing personal protective equipment will disinfect trucks entering JD.com’s Logistics Park in Shanghai, China.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Beijing — As part of China reopens, other regions are imposing new Covid-related restrictions, reflecting the challenges government authorities face in controlling the worst outbreaks since early 2020. ..

Chinese authorities are trying to maintain a zero-corona strategy that uses rapid blockades to support economic growth in 2020. Beijing is increasingly emphasizing that the strategy needs to be “dynamic.”

However, local authorities are currently facing multiple challenges at once. Growth sufficient to maintain the work that performance depends on controlling the outbreak of Covid, limit the spread of highly contagious variants, and reach the gross domestic product target of about 5.5% set by Beijing. Supports.

“Official officials at all levels must give top priority to epidemic response,” according to a Friday reading of a top-level government meeting chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“People who fail to fulfill their duties and responsibilities and lead to significant escalations are immediately investigated and held accountable in accordance with discipline and regulation,” he said.

Dozens of local Chinese officials have lost their jobs or been punished after failing to prevent the recent surge in incidents.

New daily Covid cases in mainland China far exceeded 1,000 throughout the weekend, with hundreds of asymptomatic cases.

Northern Jillin reported on Friday the deaths of the first two of the latest Covid waves. This is mainly due to the highly contagious variant of Omicron. The number of new cases and deaths is still low compared to other major countries.

Testing, road management causes delays

Economically, the region is subject to business turmoil and uncertainty, even if Covid’s strict controls do not always stop production altogether.

As of Sunday, a steel hub in Tangshan, China, has ordered all non-emergency vehicles to be banned from local roads, except with special approval. Some districts have ordered residents to stay home and have businesses such as Jim shut down.

There were no specific orders for the steelworks, but Kyrian, a Chinese financial news agency, quoted locals as the steel trade and logistics operations in Tangshan stopped, and some producers were basic. Reportedly retained several workers for production.

Karayama reported nine confirmed Covid cases this weekend.

In southern China, the technology and manufacturing city of Shenzhen remains open, despite being ordered to stop production of other business activities and factories last week.

Transport giant Maersk said late last week that Covid’s testing requirements for truck drivers and tighter road controls between Shenzhen and neighboring cities will “severely affect 40%” of truck services in the region. Said that it means. 30% impact.

“As a result, delivery times can be longer and transportation costs such as detour tolls and highway tolls can be increased,” Maersk said.

“One policy per business”

Shenzhen reported 82 new cases over the weekend — relatively high in China. However, city officials declared the outbreak “controllable” on Sunday.

The city said people using public transport must test negative for the virus within the last 48 hours.

According to the city, some areas remain closed and non-essential businesses remain closed, authorities have told parents to help their children with online learning.

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Similarly, at manufacturing centers in the south of Dongguan, local governments emphasized the need for “one policy per business” or “targeted” Covid controls, including factories.

The city-wide blockade of Dongguan, announced last Tuesday, will expire at the end of Monday, but public transport resumed operation on Friday.

The city reported a total of two new confirmed Covid cases over the weekend.

Shanghai has adopted one of China’s most targeted blockade policies as authorities seek to balance economic growth with Covid’s control, with Shanghai reporting 41 new confirmed cases over the weekend. Did.

However, this outbreak is still hitting large corporations. Shanghai Disney Resort has announced that it will be closed from Monday until further notice due to a pandemic.

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