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China’s zero-COVID policy has been putting a damper on its economy for a while now. Entire cities have been looking at lockdowns, like Hainan Island. While air travel around the world is showing signs of recovery, air traffic in and out of China is almost nonexistent.
Yesterday, a few of China’s bigger cities announced new measures to curb COVID, threatening the already COVID-beaten economy even more. Some areas introducing new policies include Shenzhen (a major tech hub), Chengdu and Dalian (a port city). The cities are imposing lockdowns, closing businesses and delaying the school year from some throughout entire districts because of a new wave of cases. Now, millions of people have been placed under strict lockdown, and large events and marketplaces have been suspended. In Shenzhen, officials said that the outbreak culprit is the new subvariant omicron BF.15. Mainland China reported 1,717 cases of COVID on Tuesday. Hong Kong, which doesn’t have quite as strict COVID rules as the Mainland, is expecting daily cases to surpass 10,000 this week.
“Markets could once again be hit in the next couple of weeks, likely triggering another round of cuts by economists on the street," the tech company Nomura said on Tuesday.
“The upcoming period will be the most stressful, high-risk and grim period for epidemic prevention and control in our city," a Shenzhen official told a news conference on Monday.
“The looming possibility that companies will again be forced to partially or fully halt operations due to lockdowns and the impacts of local controls on consumer demand undermine business confidence in the overall business environment in China," said USCBC President Craig Allen on Monday.