CHINA: As many other Chinese municipalities resumed COVID-19 mass testing on Tuesday, Beijing closed its parks and museums. This is being done as China deals with a recent nationwide spike in illnesses that has raised concerns about its economy.
On Monday, China reported 28,127 new local cases across the country, approaching the daily infection peak in April. About half of the overall cases are concentrated in the municipalities of Chongqing in the southwest and Guangzhou in the south.
Highest cases in Beijing
Beijing, the country’s capital, has set a new record for high cases, prompting calls for more residents to stay put.
There were two more fatalities associated with COVID-19 in addition to the three over the weekend—the first in China since May.
China’s change in its “zero-COVID” policy is being put to the test by the recent wave of cases. The policy calls for authorities to be more focused on their clampdown strategies and refrain from the broad lockdowns and testing that have slowed the economy and irked residents.
Despite these modifications, China still has some of the harshest COVID regulations in the entire world, and the actions in Beijing and other cities have rekindled investor concerns about the economy and led to overnight drops in both the price of oil and global stock markets.
On Tuesday, Nomura analysts noted that, up from 15.6% on the previous Monday, their internal index indicated that regions responsible for around 19.9% of China’s total GDP were under some sort of lockdown or limitations.
Beijing issued a serious COVID-19 pandemic warning and tightened entry regulations, requiring visitors from other regions of China to undergo three days of COVID testing before they are permitted to leave their accommodations.
The Happy Valley amusement park and the city’s enormous Chaoyang Park, a popular spot for picnickers and runners, announced on Tuesday that they will both close as a result of the outbreak. Many museums have already been closed. Beijing registered 1,438 new local cases, up from 962 on Sunday.
Wuhan, a city in central China where the virus was first discovered in early 2020, issued a warning recommending citizens confine their travel to the space between their homes and places of employment.
Vice Premier Sun Chunlan of China, who has initiated the zero-COVID policy, reportedly visited Chongqing on Monday and urged local officials to follow the rules and control the pandemic.
Investors had anticipated a more dramatic relaxation as a result of China’s more concentrated implementation of COVID controls, but many analysts are urging caution before becoming overly optimistic.
Many businesses in China, especially those with direct contact with customers, are concerned that if consumers continue to hold onto their money, they will not survive past this year.