China’s Covid-19 outbreak stabilises as Shanghai cases hold at zero

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China’s latest Covid-19 outbreak has stabilised, with cases in Shanghai holding at zero for the second day in a row and the flare-up in Shenzhen seemingly under control.

Nationwide, 373 cases were recorded on Monday (Aug 1). While up from Sunday’s near three-week low of 277, it is still well down from the peak of 935 infections two weeks ago.

Large companies in Shenzhen are exiting the so-called closed-loop management systems that have been in place for about a week as Covid-19 cases in the Chinese technology hub ease. The city posted just one case for Monday, while the capital, Beijing, recorded no cases.

With transmission mostly contained, the tightly controlled system mandated by the Shenzhen government to allow continued operations for its 100 biggest companies, including Foxconn Technology Group and oil producer Cnooc, ended last Saturday and was not renewed, according to people familiar with the order, who asked to remain unnamed.

Among China’s top 50 cities by economic size, only Chengdu has widespread restrictions in place for most of its districts as it remains vigilant even as infections drop. Most entertainment venues are shut, with public transport suspended in some areas.

China’s adherence to the zero-Covid strategy, which requires mass testing, snap lockdowns and travel restrictions, has exacted a heavy economic and social toll.

The economy weakened further in July amid a resurgence in Covid-19 outbreaks, China Beige Book International (CBBI) said on Monday.

Factory output and new orders slowed to a pace not seen since the middle of 2020, and retail sector employment was the worst in more than two years, according to the latest survey from CBBI.

President Xi Jinping has made zero tolerance for Covid-19 a hallmark of his rule, saying the country will not pursue “herd immunity” like other nations because it would exact too much of a toll, particularly on China’s elderly who have lower vaccination rates.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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