August 17, 2022

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Millions tested in Shanghai as China grapples COVID resurgence

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SHANGHAI/BEIJING — Millions of people in Shanghai queued for a third day of mass COVID-19 testing on Thursday as authorities in several Chinese cities scrambled to stamp out new outbreaks that have rekindled worries about growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Unless local officials succeed in preventing the virus from spreading, they could be compelled to invoke prolonged, major restrictions on residents’ movement, under China’s “dynamic zero COVID” strategy.

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The country’s most populous city, Shanghai, has just emerged from a painful two-month lockdown and is again on high alert – racing to isolate infections linked to karaoke services that had been taking place illegally.

Shanghai reported 54 new locally transmitted COVID cases for Wednesday, versus 24 the previous day. More than 70 cases confirmed in recent days are linked to the karaoke joints, authorities said.

Overall, mainland China reported 338 new local COVID cases for Wednesday, down from 353, with no new deaths, numbers that most countries would now consider insignificant.

But China’s approach of rigorously stamping out outbreaks as they occur has residents wary of more of the kind of restrictions that have caused mental stress and financial hardship for many, disrupted global supply chains and overseas trade, and rattled financial markets.

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“A resurgence of Omicron is not an issue in most other countries, but it remains a predominant issue for the Chinese economy,” Nomura analysts…

Reuters

2022-07-07 09:34:02

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