Shanghai plans more COVID testing amid new restrictions across China

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BEIJING — Several Chinese cities are adopting new COVID-19 restrictions, from business shutdowns to lockdowns, to curb new infections, with the Shanghai Mall bracing for another mass testing effort after finding an Omicron subvariant highly transmissible.

The tough restrictions imposed by local governments follow China’s « dynamic zero COVID » policy of rapidly eradicating all outbreaks at a time when much of the world is coexisting with the virus.

China has said restrictions must be as targeted as possible to reduce damage to the world’s second-largest economy, after major disruptions this year clogged global supply chains and hit international trade.

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The discovery of a local infection with the BA.5.2.1 subvariant raises the stakes of quickly containing a small outbreak to avoid more disruptive steps similar to the lockdown in April and May that rattled the global economy and markets.

The BA.5 lineage, which is rapidly spreading to many other countries, has been detected in cities such as Xian in Shaanxi province and Dalian in Liaoning province, hundreds of kilometers on either side of Beijing.

It was first discovered in China on May 13 in a patient who flew to Shanghai from Uganda, the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control said, with no local infections linked to the case this month. -the.

The Chinese yuan weakened against the dollar, with stocks also weaker.

Data from China, including trade figures for June on Wednesday and last month’s retail sales, industrial production and gross domestic product figures for April through June on Friday, are expected to confirm the economy has slowed sharply in the second quarter due to coronavirus shutdowns in Shanghai and elsewhere.

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Shanghai, the most populous city with 25 million people, asked residents of several districts to get tested twice in another round of mass screenings from Tuesday to Thursday, similar to last week.

Its inhabitants are already testing every few days to secure access to various places and public transport.

Authorities and some investors hope that this relentless testing will find infections early enough to control them.

Early checks had reduced the risk of a prolonged lockdown in major cities, UBS Global Wealth Management said.

« We expect COVID restrictions, primarily in the form of continued mini-lockdowns for the rest of the year, which would be less disruptive to production or supply chains, as well as the gradual rollout of more supportive policies, » he said in a note.

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The daily number of locally transmitted infections in Shanghai has risen to several dozen since July 5, from single digits earlier this month, but remains tiny by global standards.

Most of his recent cases are among those already in quarantine.


Mainland China reported 352 new locally transmitted COVID infections on July 10, including 46 symptomatic and 306 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said Monday.

In the central province of Henan, the city of Qinyang has almost completely locked down its nearly 700,000 residents since Sunday, with one person in each household allowed to take a trip every other day to do their shopping.

Authorities in Wugang, another city in Henan, have told its 290,000 residents not to leave their homes for the next three days except for COVID tests.

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Four major districts in the northwest city of Lanzhou in Gansu province and the southern cities of Danzhou and Haikou in Hainan province are under temporary restrictions for several days, with a total of 6 million people affected.

The city of Nanchang in the southern province of Jiangxi, with a population of 6.3 million, closed some entertainment venues on Saturday, although the duration of the restrictions was not specified.

In the northwest province of Qinghai, the city of Xining launched a mass testing campaign on Monday after one person tested positive on Sunday.

Mass testing also began Monday in several major districts of the southern metropolis of Guangzhou.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Marius Zaharia and Clarence Fernandez)



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