More infected than ever: Record coronavirus numbers paralyze China


More infected than ever
Corona’s record numbers are paralyzing China

Since the beginning of the pandemic, China has taken strict measures against Corona. Despite this, there are more people newly infected than ever before. With drastic consequences: 21 million residents of Beijing should not leave their homes, a fifth of the economy has been affected by the quarantine.

In a wave of corona in China, the number of new infections has reached the highest level since the outbreak of the pandemic almost three years ago. As announced by the Beijing Health Commission, 32,700 new cases were reported. The daily number of new infections has more than tripled in two weeks.

Heavy restrictions on movement are in place in cities with more than a million residents, such as Beijing, the hard-hit southern Chinese city of Guangzhou or Chongqing. Restaurants, shops and schools were closed in the capital, with only supermarkets and markets still open for food purchases. Employees must work from a home office. 21 million Residents of Beijing were asked to stay at home if possible.

The impact on the world’s second-largest economy is huge: experts at Japanese financial group Nomura estimate that the lockdown has affected a little more than a fifth of China’s economic output, twice as much as in October, Bloomberg reported. The previous high level of new infections since April had already been surpassed the day before. At the time, the eastern Chinese port metropolis of Shanghai was under strict lockdown for two months.

Beijing is pursuing a zero-covid strategy

While the rest of the world has been living with the virus for a long time, China continues to adhere to its strict zero-covid strategy. Residential areas are fenced off in some cases. Contact persons arrive at quarantine camps. Infected people are isolated in the hospital. The country also closed itself for a long time. Visas are rarely issued. Persons entering the country must be quarantined in special hotel rooms for at least five days, but usually eight days.

Mass testing is taking place every day, which is putting extreme strain on local government finances. A negative PCR test, usually within the last 24 hours, must be proven to enter supermarkets, such as in Beijing. Other locations require tests within the last 48 hours. There are long queues at testing stations every day. New variants of omicron have been blamed for the rapid increase in infections that spread more easily and thus undermine preventive measures in China.

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