People watch as barricades are erected outside the entrance of an urban village in Wanxia as part of measures to control the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, 29 August 2022. REUTERS/David Kirton
BEIJING: Several major Chinese cities tightened COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, with more businesses shut in Shenzhen and millions in Dalian on lockdown as economic uncertainty renewed. , some schools delayed the start of the school year.
The new measures, which are expected to last just a few days for now, reflect China’s insistence on a so-called “Dynamic COVID Zero” policy aimed at quelling all outbreaks when they occur.
The stakes are higher for China’s already fragile national economy compared to earlier this month, when lockdowns were mostly in small cities.
A further significant escalation or extension of restrictions in large cities such as Chengdu in southwest China risks undermining lukewarm economic growth.
“Markets could take another hit in the coming weeks, likely triggering another cut by economists on the streets,” Nomura warned in a note Tuesday, adding that he would not be able to afford to sell the stocks in Shenzhen’s southern tech hub, among others. He emphasized the importance of cities.
Shenzhen’s Longhua District, home to 2.5 million residents, closed various entertainment venues and wholesale markets and canceled large-scale events on Tuesday.
Longhua district officials said residents must show proof of negative test results within 24 hours to enter residential areas, and restaurants must limit diners to no more than 50% of capacity. The new curbs are expected to expire on Saturday.
The move follows similar measures announced Monday covering three other districts that have affected more than 6 million people in Shenzhen, which has been battling multiple outbreaks of the Omicron variant this year.
City officials have not announced a blanket postponement of the new school year, but six parents with children in elementary and middle school said their schools had notified them of the postponement, with many parents using parent chat groups. He expressed concern about the uncertainty.
In Dalian, a major port in northeastern China important for soybean and iron ore imports, the main urban area of about 3 million residents entered a lockdown on Tuesday that will last until Sunday. Households can only go out one person per day to shop for daily necessities.
During the lockdown, non-essential workers will have to work from home, and manufacturing companies will have to reduce their on-site staff and keep only basic and urgent operations.
In the southwestern city of Chengdu, the districts of Wuhou and Qingyang suspended many venues and tour groups on Tuesday after the Jinniu district tightened restrictions on Monday, planning to delay the start of the fall semester of schools. The total population of the three districts is about 3.5 million.
On Tuesday, the northern Tianjin municipality of 13.7 million people launched a new city-wide COVID test to identify community infections. This is the fourth inspection since Saturday.
In the northern city of Shijiazhuang, about a 3.5-hour drive from the capital Beijing, four large districts ordered more than 3 million residents to work from home until Wednesday afternoon, except for essential workers.
Mainland China reported 1,717 domestically transmitted COVID infections on 29 August. This includes 349 symptomatic infections and 1,368 asymptomatic infections. Official data was shown on Tuesday.
Among more than 20 provinces, regions and municipalities that have reported cases, the Tibetan region, Sichuan province, of which Chengdu is the capital, and Qinghai province provided the most daily cases on Monday.
Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, home to 2.5 million inhabitants, has ordered a lockdown of major urban areas, halting public transport and restricting movement outside housing complexes. The lockdown, which started on Monday, was due to be lifted on Thursday morning.
The number of cases is rising in Hong Kong, with government advisers expecting cases to reach 10,000 per day this week, sparking fears that authorities will tighten the just-relaxed restrictions. I’m here.