Beijing closes parks and museums as China’s Covid cases rise | China
Beijing closed parks and museums on Tuesday, and more Chinese cities resumed mass testing for Covid-19, as China battles a new national spike in cases that has heightened concerns about its economy.
China reported 28,127 new local cases nationwide on Monday, approaching its daily infection peak in April, with cases in the southern city of Guangzhou and southwest Chongqing municipality accounting for about half of the total. . In the capital, Beijing, cases hit a new record, prompting calls for more residents to stay put.
There were two new deaths attributed to Covid-19, up from three over the weekend, which were the first in China since May.
The latest wave tests recent adjustments China has made to its zero-Covid policy, which asks authorities to be more targeted in their crackdowns and move away from lockdowns and widespread testing that have strangled the economy. and frustrated its citizens.
Beijing warned on Monday that it faced its toughest test of the pandemic yet and tightened rules for entering the city, requiring arrivals from elsewhere in China to undergo three days of Covid testing before leaving. be allowed to leave their accommodation.
Many museums were closed and on Tuesday places such as the Happy Valley amusement park and the city’s sprawling Chaoyang Park, a popular spot for runners and picnickers, announced they would close due to the epidemic. Beijing reported 1,438 new local cases, down from 962 on Sunday.
Investors are hoping China’s decision earlier this month to take more targeted approaches in enforcing zero Covid restrictions heralds a bigger easing, but many analysts warn against taking an overly optimistic attitude.
“The real picture may not be as rosy as it looks,” Nomura analysts said in a separate note, saying they expected a reopening to be accelerated only ‘after March next year, when China’s senior leadership reshuffle will be completed.
“Reopening could be a two-way street, as policymakers could back off after observing a rapid rise in cases and social disruption. As such, local officials may be even more reluctant to be first to act when trying to probe Beijing’s true intentions,” Nomura wrote.
Even after changes in targeted Covid approaches, China still has some of the toughest Covid restrictions in the world, and the measures in Beijing and other cities have rekindled investor concerns about the economy and sent prices plummeting. global stocks and oil prices overnight.
Nomura analysts said on Tuesday their internal index estimated that localities accounting for about 19.9% of China’s total gross domestic product were under some form of lockdown or restriction, up from 15.6% last Monday.