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

Only a few vehicles, including one with two medical workers, travel through Beijing’s central business district on November 23, 2022, as the region declares strict Covid control.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BEIJING – Mainland China reported more than 31,000 Covid infections for Wednesday, including asymptomatic cases.

That’s more than the 29,317 high seen in mid-April, during the Shanghai lockdown, according to CNBC’s compilation of Wind Information data.

However, the daily number of Covid-19 cases remains below the peak seen in April. Almost 90% or more of the total number of Covid cases reported in recent days are asymptomatic, data shows.

The southern city of Guangzhou, the capital Beijing and the southwestern city of Chongqing are the hardest hit by the new Covid wave.

But nearly 31 provinces in China have reported new cases of Covid, and no symptoms, every day.

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

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China’s tight control of Covid has weighed on business sentiment. National GDP did not grow in the second quarter due to the Shanghai lockdown. As of the end of the third quarter, growth for the year was up just 3% from a year ago – well below the government’s target of around 5.5% announced in March.

Companies close to the Covid outbreak have tried to use so-called closed management, which often requires workers to live on site.

Business representatives have identified difficulties in getting workers from the locked-down area to the office, as workers who stay at production sites for long periods of time are often tired.

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During the new Covid wave, apple Foxconn’s iPhone supplier in the city of Zhengzhou has attracted attention for a video of a new employee riot being shared on social media. It is not known how many of the company’s 200,000 workers are affected, or whether there is any impact on production.

Foxconn said on Wednesday that some new workers have asked the company for wages, saying that contrary to speculation, the new workers will only enter unharmed buildings.

Separately, Zhengzhou said residents in the city center should not leave their homes for five days starting Friday while authorities conduct virus tests.

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China this month has lifted quarantines and announced other measures to try to make Covid control more targeted. But authorities have insisted on their zero-Covid policy, amid concerns over whether the public health system can handle the surge in infections.

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Targeted Covid measures

The latest Covid-19 restrictions on human trafficking and widespread lockdowns have spread across China, a country of 1.4 billion people. A few measures are announced publicly, where the restrictions are targeted and can last from a few days – to weeks or more.

For example, Shanghai Disneyland said it plans to resume operations on Friday, after suspending operations due to Covid on Oct. 31.

Meanwhile, despite strict restrictions on Beijing’s business district, the Universal Beijing Resort on the outskirts of the city is still open, after a five-day closure ended on October 31.

— CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.


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