China’s populous cities including Shenzhen strengthen COVID restrictions According to Reuters

© Reuters. People watch as barricades are erected outside the entrance to the Wanxia urban village as part of measures to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China August 29, 2022. REUTERS / David Kirton

BEIJING (Reuters) – Several major Chinese cities escalated COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, with Shenzhen closing more businesses and Dalian locking down millions of people, adding to the uncertainty. economy and delay the start of the school year for some.

The new measures, expected to last only the next few days, reflect China’s insistence on its so-called “dynamic COVID zero” policy that aims to quell any outbreaks as and when they occur. happen.

The stakes are higher on China’s already shaky national economy than it was earlier this month, when the shutdowns were mostly in smaller cities. Further escalation or prolongation of curbs in major metropolises, such as Chengdu in southwestern China, threatens to hurt already subdued economic growth.

“Markets could once again take a hit over the next few weeks, potentially triggering another round of economists’ cuts across the street,” warned Nomura in a note Tuesday, highlighting the importance of the market. important cities such as the southern technology hub Shenzhen.

Longhua, a district in Shenzhen with 2.5 million residents, on Tuesday closed many entertainment venues and wholesale markets and suspended major events.

Residents must present proof of a negative test result within 24 hours to enter residential areas, and restaurants must limit the number of customers to no more than 50% of their capacity, the Long Hoa district government said. know. The new curbs are expected to expire on Saturday.

The moves follow similar measures announced Monday that include three other counties that have affected more than 6 million people in Shenzhen, which has battled multiple outbreaks of Omicron sub-variants during the year. now.

While city officials have not yet announced the delay to the new school year, six parents with elementary and middle school children said their schools have notified them of the postponement, with many parents expressed concern about uncertainty in parent chat groups.

In Dalian, a major northeastern Chinese port important for soybeans and iron ore imports, the main metropolitan areas with about 3 million residents on Tuesday began a lockdown lasting until Sunday. Households are only allowed to send one person out per day to shop for daily necessities.

During the closure, non-essential workers must work from home, while manufacturing companies must cut staff onsite and maintain only basic and emergency operations.

In the southwestern city of Chengdu, Wuhou and Qingyang counties on Tuesday suspended many tourist sites and groups and planned to delay the start of the fall semester for schools, after Jinniu county on Monday tightened the curbs. The three counties have a total of about 3.5 million residents.

The northern city of Tianjin of 13.7 million people on Tuesday started a new city-wide COVID test to identify infections in the community, its fourth since Saturday.

In the northern city of Shijiazhuang, about a 3.5-hour drive from the capital Beijing, four major counties have asked more than 3 million residents to work from home, excluding essential workers, until Thursday afternoon. Private.

Mainland China reported 1,717 domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections as of August 29, including 349 symptomatic infections and 1,368 asymptomatic infections, official data showed on Tuesday.

Of the more than 20 provinces, regions and centrally run cities that have reported cases, the Tibet region, Sichuan province, of which Chengdu is the capital, and Qinghai province contribute the most cases. most daily for Monday.

The capital of Qinghai province, Xining, with 2.5 million residents, ordered the closure of its main urban areas, halting public transport and restricting movement outside residential areas. The lockdown, which began on Monday, is expected to be lifted on Thursday morning.

In Hong Kong, cases are on the rise and government advisers predict infections will hit 10,000 a day this week, sparking fears that authorities will tighten restrictions that have just been eased. .

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