Shanghai has reported a record number of symptomatic Covid-19 cases and other parts of China have tightened controls as the country maintains its “proactive cleaning” approach aimed at stamping out the highly transmissible omicron variant.
The Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone, a manufacturing area in central China that includes Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn, announced a 14-day lockdown “to be adjusted according to the epidemic situation.”
In northwest China, the city of Xian on Friday urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel outside their residential compounds and encouraged companies to have employees work from home or live at their workplace, following dozens of infections. by Covid-19 registered this month.
A Xian government official, responding to residents’ concerns about possible food shortages, said on Saturday that the announcement did not constitute a quarantine and that the city would not impose one.
The city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, said on Saturday that all employees who can work from home must do so, and residential complexes and company campuses must prevent unnecessary entry of people and vehicles. This city has reported more than 500 infections in its latest outbreak.
Shanghai itself, which is at the center of the recent surge of Covid-19 that began in early March, reported a record 3,590 symptomatic cases on Saturday for April 15, as well as 19,923 asymptomatic cases. The number of asymptomatic cases increased slightly from 19,872 the day before.
The city’s case count makes up the vast majority of cases nationwide, even though most of its 25 million residents remain under lockdown.
China’s “proactive cleaning” policy aims to quickly contain sporadic outbreaks as they occur. On Saturday, an editorial in the official Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily said this approach was the “best option at this time, based on the current epidemic situation in China.”
However, the continued restrictions prompted Japan’s consul general in Shanghai to ask the local government to address the concerns of Japanese companies, in a letter posted on the consulate’s website on Saturday.
Supply chain disruptions
Analysts say widespread supply chain disruptions are likely to cause shipment delays for companies including Apple and weigh on the country’s economic growth rate this year.
China’s central bank on Friday night cut the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves, aiming to cushion a sharp slowdown in growth, though the cut was smaller than expected.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs advocated a more accommodative monetary policy.
In the Zhengzhou economic zone, only staff with valid passes, health codes and negative COVID tests will be allowed to leave the zone during the two-week period, although “special vehicles” will be allowed to travel normally for work purposes, they said. local authorities in a post on an official WeChat instant messaging account.
Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, referred Reuters to its statement on Thursday, saying its Zhengzhou facility was cooperating with the government’s epidemic control efforts, and that the plant’s operations they were normal.
In total, China reported 24,791 new coronavirus cases on April 15, of which 3,896 were symptomatic and 20,895 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission reported on Saturday.