Shanghai Outbreak Swells as First Sub-Variant Case Detected
Covid-19 cases in Shanghai continued to climb as parts of China’s financial hub face more rounds of mass testing, with new sub-variants providing a constant challenge to the country’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus.
(Bloomberg) -- Covid-19 cases in Shanghai continued to climb as parts of China’s financial hub face more rounds of mass testing, with new sub-variants providing a constant challenge to the country’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus.
The city recorded 69 new infections for Sunday, the most since late May and up from 57 the day before. Cases have increased abruptly after a period of little to no trace of the virus, where officials declared victory over Covid and praised their handling of a crisis that left China’s most global city locked down for two months in May and June.
Shanghai found its first case of the more contagious BA.5 sub-strain of the omicron variant Friday, triggering two rounds of mass testing between Tuesday and Thursday in nine districts, plus other areas where cases have been found, a health official said Sunday.
China’s stock benchmark CSI 300 Index fell as much as 1.3% Monday morning, lagging other markets in the region.
Elsewhere, Shandong province reported 80 local cases and Beijing recorded one infection. Flareups also led to movement restrictions and testing in Hainan and Guangdong provinces -- in China’s south -- over the weekend. Nationwide, China reported 352 cases for Sunday.
Some 30 Million People Face Covid Curbs: China Lockdown Tracker
The latest figures indicate that China’s spike in infections that began about a week ago has further to run. Officials are warily eyeing the arrival of BA.5, though there’s little question about the country’s ongoing commitment to Covid Zero. President Xi Jinping has said his government would rather tolerate some temporary impact on the economy than see the scale of death and illness experienced by other countries during the pandemic.
China unveils a raft of economic data this week, with numbers from gross domestic product to retail sales to be closely watched for evidence of Covid Zero’s impact on the world’s second-largest economy, and whether Beijing will be able to meet its annual growth target.
(Updates to add market reaction in third paragraph and national case count in fifth paragraph.)
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