Total daily Covid cases in mainland China rise above Shanghai lockdown heights

Written by

Only a few vehicles, including one carrying two health workers, drive through Beijing’s central business district on November 23, 2022, as the area has announced tighter Covid controls.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BEIJING – Mainland China reported more than 31,000 Covid infections as of Wednesday, including cases without symptoms.

That surpassed the 29,317 peaks seen in mid-April during the Shanghai lockdown, according to CNBC calculations of wind information data.

However, daily Covid infections with symptoms remain well below the level seen in April. Almost 90% or more of the total Covid cases reported in recent days have been asymptomatic, the data showed.

The southern city of Guangzhou, the national capital of Beijing and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing have been hardest hit latest Covid wave.

But almost all of China’s 31 provincial-level regions have reported new Covid infections, with and without symptoms, every day.

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

What the China protests mean for Apple

China’s strict Covid controls have weighed on sentiment and business activity. National GDP barely grew in the second quarter due to the Shanghai shutdowns. At the end of the third quarter, growth for the year was up just 3% from a year ago – well below the official target of around 5.5% announced in March.

Factories located near Covid outbreaks have tried to maintain operations using what is called closed-loop management, which typically requires staff to live on site.

Business representatives have noted difficulties in getting workers from locked-down neighborhoods to factories, while staff who stay at production sites for too long often become fatigued.

During the recent Covid wave, Apple supplier Foxconn’s iPhone factory in the city of Zhengzhou has attracted attention for videos of renewed labor unrest shared on social media. It was unclear how many of the factory’s roughly 200,000 employees were involved or if there was any impact on production.

Foxconn said on Wednesday that some new hires had appealed to the company for a work allowance, while saying that, contrary to speculation, new hires would only move into disinfected dormitories.

Separately, Zhengzhou said those living in the central part of the city should not leave their homes for five days from Friday while authorities conducted mass virus testing.

Why China shows no signs of backing down from its 'zero Covid' strategy

China has trimmed quarantine times this month and has announced other measures to try to make Covid control more targeted. But the authorities have stressed their zero-Covid policy, while there are concerns about whether the public health system can handle a surge in infections.

Targeted Covid measures

The latest Covid-19 lockdowns of private businesses and apartments have spread across parts of China, a country of 1.4 billion people. Fewer measures are publicly announced, while restrictions are increasingly targeted and can range from just a few days – to weeks or longer.

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

Meanwhile, despite tighter restrictions in Beijing’s business district, the Universal Beijing Resort on the outskirts of the city remains open after a five-day closure that ended on October 31.

— CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.

About the author

Leave a Comment