December 9, 2022

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Mainland China’s total daily Covid cases soar above Shanghai lockdown highs

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Only a few vehicles, including one with two health workers, drive through Beijing’s central business district on Nov. 23, 2022, as the area has announced tighter Covid controls.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BEIJING — Mainland China reported more than 31,000 Covid infections for Wednesday, including cases without symptoms.

That surpassed the 29,317 high seen in mid-April, during the Shanghai lockdown, according to CNBC calculations of Wind Information data. 

However, daily Covid infections with symptoms remain well below the high seen in April. Nearly 90% or more of total Covid cases reported in recent days have been asymptomatic, the data showed.

The southern city of Guangzhou, the national capital of Beijing and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing have been the hardest hit in the latest Covid wave.

But nearly all of China’s 31 province-level regions have reported new Covid infections, with and without symptoms, each day.

Since the weekend, six Covid-related deaths have been reported as of Wednesday, mostly in Beijing.

China’s stringent Covid controls have weighed on sentiment and business activity. National GDP barely grew during the second quarter due to the Shanghai lockdowns. As of the end of the third quarter, growth for the year was up by just 3% from a year ago — well below the official target of around 5.5% announced in March.

Factories located near Covid outbreaks have tried to maintain operations using what’s called closed-loop management, which typically requires staff to live on-site.

Business representatives have noted difficulties in getting workers from locked down neighborhoods to factories, while staff living at production sites for too long often become fatigued.

During the latest Covid wave, Apple supplier Foxconn’s iPhone factory in the city of Zhengzhou has drawn attention for videos of renewed worker unrest shared on social media. It was unclear how many of the factory’s roughly 200,000 staff were involved, or whether…

2022-11-24 07:06:47

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