China is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases with spikes in new cases being reported in 19 provinces including cities like Shanghai, Shenzen, Jilin, Shandong and capital Beijing.
The rise in cases, which has been attributed to Omicron and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, has led to many provinces and cities imposing lockdowns and ramping up testing.
How Many Cases Is China Reporting?
China reported 1,437 cases of COVID-19 on March 13 after reporting 1,938 cases on March 12. 895 cases were reported in the north-eastern province of Jilin with the cities of Jilin and Changchun reporting 453 and 430 cases respectively.
The Chinese manufacturing hub of Shenzhen reported 75 cases while Shanghai reported 41 cases with Qingdao reporting 68 cases.
What Measures Are China Taking To Tackle Rising Cases?
The Chinese government has tweaked its COVID-19 regulations to allow the general public to use COVID-19 rapid antigen tests.
The cities of Jilin, Changchun and Shenzhen have been placed under partial lockdowns with many neighbourhoods being sealed.
Many local officials have also been dismissed for their lack of preparedness including Wang Lu, the mayor of Jilin City. Citizens in Jilin and other cities have also been made to undergo numerous round of mass testing.
The Shenzhen Municipal Government has shut all public institutions except for anti-epidemic institutions. The authorities have also ordered citizens to work from home barring those working in companies providing public services.
Only supermarkets, pharmacies, medical institutions and catering enterprises will be allowed to operate. Buses and subway services have also been suspended in the city.
Residents also won't be allowed to leave the city except in "cases of special needs". Even in emergency cases, a negative nucleic acid result within 24 hours of departure is required.
In Shanghai, many schools, restaurants and malls have been shut with lines being reported outside hospitals as people try to obtain negative test results.
What Has Been The Impact On The Chinese Economy?In a note, ANZ Research's Raymond Yeung and Zhaopeng Xing said that if lockdowns are extended, it would significantly impact China's growth.
"If the lockdown is extended, China's economic growth will be significantly affected. It is too early for us to change our GDP growth forecast (5.0 per cent) for 2022 , but we are wary of the impact of a partial lockdown in the economically rich provinces," they said.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended Monday at a six-year low of 19,531.66, down by 5 per cent which is the biggest single-day decline in 22 months.
The Shanghai and Shenzhen indices fell by 2.6 per cent and 3.08 per cent respectively.
Foxconn, one of the world's largest suppliers of electronic parts, has been hit by the lockdown imposed in Shenzen and Shanghai with the company stating that it has been forced to shut its factories in Longhua and Guanlan in Shenzhen. Apple, one of Foxconn's clients, has suspended production as a result.
Unimicron, which supplies printed circuit board's to Apple, Intel and Nvidia said its subsidiary in Shenzhen has been forced to stop production.
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