- Southern manufacturing hub battles worst outbreak of COVID-19
- Cases are doubling in Zhengzhou, the production base of Apple supplier
- Chinese stocks and currency slip on virus fears
Today, Tuesday, official data showed a rise in cases of the new Corona virus in Guangzhou and other Chinese cities, as the global manufacturing center became the latest focus of the Corona virus in China, and it tests the city’s ability to avoid a Shanghai-style shutdown.
Nationwide, the number of new locally transmitted infections rose to 7,475 on November 7, according to the China Health Authority, up from 5,496 the previous day and the highest since May 1. Guangzhou accounted for nearly a third of the new infections.
The increase was modest by global standards but significant for China, where outbreaks must be addressed quickly when they emerge under its zero-COVID policy. Economically vital cities, including the capital, Beijing, are calling for more PCR testing of residents and closing neighborhoods and even districts in some cases.
A sharp recovery will test China’s ability to keep its COVID measures invasive and targeted, and could dampen investor hopes that the world’s second-largest economy can soon ease restrictions and restrictions.
“We are seeing a game between rising voices for loosening controls and the rapid spread of COVID cases,” said Ni Wen, an economist at the Shanghai-based Hwabao Trust.
Given how nationwide COVID restrictions are squashing domestic consumption, Nee said he lowered his forecast for fourth-quarter economic growth to about 3.5% from 4%-4.5%. The economy grew 3.9% in July-September.
The growing case burden on China’s stock markets slowed Tuesday, but stocks are yet to concede the big gains they made last week.
Investors see collapsed China markets as an attractive opportunity as the global slowdown looms, and have focused on small evidence of incremental change – such as more targeted lockdowns and advances in vaccination rates.
“No matter how harsh the rhetoric of the law … there is more easing,” said Damien Boye, chief macroeconomic strategist at Australian investment bank Baringway.
There is no full lock yet
Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, reported 2,377 new locally transmitted cases on November 7, up from 1971 the previous day. It was a dramatic jump from double-digit increases two weeks ago.
The rising number of cases in the sprawling southern city, dubbed the “factory floor of the world,” means Guangzhou has bypassed the northern Inner Mongolian city of Hohhot to become the epicenter of China’s coronavirus outbreak, in its deadliest outbreak ever.
Several areas of Guangzhou, including central Haizhou, have imposed varying levels of restrictions and closures. But so far, the city has not imposed a blanket lockdown like the one that occurred in Shanghai earlier this year.
Shanghai, which is not currently facing a resurgence of COVID, went into lockdown in April and May after reporting several thousand new infections per day in the last week of March.
“We’ve been working from home for the past couple of days,” said Aaron Shaw, who runs a company in Guangzhou.
“Only a few complexes have been closed so far. Mostly we see disruptions in the form of public transit services being suspended and compound security banning mail and food delivery. And we have to do PCR tests every day.”
In Beijing, authorities discovered 64 new local infections, a slight increase compared to Guangzhou and Zhengzhou, but enough to spark a new wave of PCR tests for many of its residents and to close more buildings and neighborhoods.
“The lockdown situation has continued to rapidly deteriorate across the country over the past week, with China’s internal COVID lockdown index rising to 12.2% of China’s GDP from 9.5% last Monday,” Nomura wrote in a note on Monday.
Zhengzhou, the capital of central Henan province and a major production base for Apple (AAPL.O) Foxconn supplier (2317.TW)it reported 733 new local cases on November 7, more than double the day before.
In the southwestern city of Chongqing, the city reported 281 new local cases, more than double from 120 the day before.
In the coal-producing region of Inner Mongolia, the city of Hohhot recorded 1,760 new local cases on November 7, up from 1,013 the day before.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wu, Bernard Orr, Liz Lee and Jing Wang; Additional reporting by Josh Yee in Hong Kong and Tom Westbrook in Singapore. Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Stephen Coates and Raisa Kasulowski
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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