Investors held out hope that China might relax its strict Covid Zero approach after the crucial Communist Party meeting solidified President Xi Jinping’s hold on power. On the other hand, it appears like the reverse is occurring.
New lockdowns are being implemented all the way from Wuhan, which was the initial core of the Covid outbreak, to the industrial belt on the east coast of China. In the southern manufacturing powerhouse of Guangzhou, schools and dining in at restaurants have been suspended. Meanwhile, targeted shutdowns in the metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai continue, with apartment blocks and neighbourhoods subject to stay-at-home orders if even a close contact of someone infected has visited.
The increase comes at a time when infections are beginning to climb again; on Thursday, China reported 1,321 new cases of Covid, which was the highest daily total in the last two weeks. It also disproves an idea held by some investors and those who follow China’s economy that the government will take a different approach to the virus once the once every five years congress was done. In his opening statement, President Xi Jinping defended the Covid Zero policy.
According to research conducted by the Japanese financial institution Nomura, the number of Chinese citizens subject to control measures implemented by Covid has recently increased to around 232 million, up from 225 million only one week ago. According to an analysis conducted by Nomura as of October 27, the 31 cities that were placed under some sort of lockdown accounted for one in six people in China and 24.5% of the country’s gross domestic product. This number was up from 22.9% the previous week.
According to the experts’ statements, “Lockdowns are being implemented much more brutally since the Party conference completed.”