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China’s Covid numbers hit record high

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Beijing, China in Winter.

The number of Covid-19 cases in China has hit a record high, major news outlets reported today. Yesterday, the country recorded 31,527 cases while Beijing recorded its fourth Covid-related death since last weekend. 

China’s previous Covid peak had been around 28,000 cases when Shanghai was locked down. 

Virus cases are being recorded in 31 provinces.

Officials have tried to avoid another lockdown like that in Shanghai, but with the recent coronavirus surge, China’s central city of Zhengzhou plans to enforce a lockdown for six million residents from Friday, according to officials. 

Beijing officials have implemented some restrictions in several districts, closing shops, schools, and restaurants. 

On Tuesday, Macquarie’s Chief China Economist Larry Hu said that “China might have already passed the point of no return.” Hu noted that China was unlikely to achieve zero Covid again without another hard lockdown similar to Shanghai. 

The surge comes as China’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus is becoming increasingly unpopular. In a country known for its restrictions on dissent, protests have broken out. 

In May this year, the European Chamber of Commerce in China announced today that nearly a quarter of respondents in a survey were considering moving current or planned investments out of China. Some 92% of the respondents said they had been negatively impacted by China’s recent port closures, decreased road freight, and rising sea freight costs. Meanwhile, the lockdowns in 43 cities involved tight restrictions on movement for locals, according to one financial services group.

In March this year, it was reported that over 130 million Chinese people aged 60 and above were either unvaccinated or had fewer than three doses. China’s Sinovac vaccine was found to be less effective at preventing death from Covid among the elderly than BioNTech/Pfizer unless they received three shots.

The vast majority of Chinese people have been jabbed with either Sinovac or Sinopharm, which researchers said also required a triple dose.

 

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A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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