The Covid outbreak is escalating in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou

The Covid outbreak is escalating in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou

The Covid outbreak is escalating in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou

The southern city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province has been hit hardest by the latest Covid outbreak. Here are pictures of closed shops in a part of the city on October 31, 2022.

Vcg |: Visual China Group |: Getty Images:

BEIJING – Covid infections are on the rise in the capital of China’s export-heavy Guangdong province, raising concerns about another drag on the national economy.

Schools in eight of Guangzhou’s 11 districts moved classes online for most students as of Thursday. Over the past few days, more parts of the city have ordered people to stay indoors and non-essential businesses to close.

“As things stand, it’s hard to say whether Guangzhou will repeat Shanghai’s experience this spring,” Tin Lu and team, Nomura’s chief China economist, said in a note late Wednesday. “If Guangzhou repeats what Shanghai did in the spring, it will lead to a new round of pessimism about China.”

Earlier this year, the metropolis of Shanghai was locked down for nearly two months, and wider Covid controls led to a second quarter of national GDP that grew by just 0.4%, according to official data. GDP bounced back in the third quarter with 3.9% growthbut then export unexpectedly decreased in October.

It was not immediately clear how much Guangzhou’s recent business restrictions have affected the factories’ ability to operate. Many manufacturers are located outside the city but in the same state.

State-owned automaker GAC Group said its factories in Guangzhou were operating as normal as of Thursday morning. “The epidemic did not have a significant impact,” the company said in a statement.

The Covid outbreak is escalating in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou

In just one week, the number of symptomatic Covid infections in Guangdong has increased fivefold to 500 as of Wednesday. During that time, asymptomatic infections increased sevenfold, reaching about 2,500 cases.

The latest outbreak prompted the American Chamber of Commerce in China to postpone an event in Guangzhou that had already been postponed since September, chamber president Michael Hart said Thursday. He expects two more chamber events in the city this year to be postponed.

“These travel impacts hurt the ability of local governments to invest,” Hart said, noting that such investments have not been lost but delayed.

“I’ve canceled more travel than I’ve actually been able to do,” he said.

Late fall is a popular time for conferences and business travel in China.

Notably, Guangzhou has indefinitely postponed its auto show, which was supposed to start next week. The country’s biggest auto show, which Beijing was supposed to host earlier this year, was never postponed.

More travel restrictions

‚ÄúProbably a bigger concern [than getting sick] is what it does [travel] do your Beijing health code and can you come back?” Hart said, referring to a government smartphone app to track Covid exposure.

The city requires anyone entering a mall, taxi or public space to use the app. A venue can deny entry if the application shows that the individual has not tested negative for Covid in the last three days, or is wearing a ‘pop-up’ which should indicate a suspected link to Covid infection.

The pop-up prevents people from entering Beijing.

Its appearance has become so frequent and somewhat unpredictable that a Chinese commentator said in a widely shared video that every business trip outside Beijing is a choice between family and work. The video was removed from public view on Thursday morning.

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Beijing’s health code enforcement pop-up is also affecting people’s mobility within the capital, which has reported a spike in infections in the past few days.

“In Beijing, you just assume that a certain percentage of the workforce will have pop-up problems,” Hart said, noting that virus testing requirements for some office buildings have increased to once every 24 hours. “Instead of getting weaker, it’s getting tighter in some areas.”

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