China’s major cities, from Dalian to Shenzhen, are ramping up the reins of COVID

China's major cities, from Dalian to Shenzhen, are ramping up the reins of COVID
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BEIJING/SHENZHEN, China, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Several of China’s biggest cities imposed tougher COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, further hampering activities for tens of millions of people and raising fresh concerns for the health of the struggling economy.

Metropolises from the southern tech hub of Shenzhen to Chengdu in the southwest and the port of Dalian in the northeast have ordered measures such as lockdowns in large districts and business closures to prevent fresh outbreaks.

The latest restrictions, which will delay the start of the school year for some, reflect China’s strict adherence to a “dynamic COVID zero” policy to stamp out every outbreak.

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While the rest of the world is costing the world’s second-largest economy, that insistence is making it even better as it struggles to cope with the coronavirus.

While many of the measures are initially planned for several days, any major escalation or extension in some of China’s biggest cities would further hurt already weak growth. read more

Although the two most populous cities, Beijing and Shanghai, have experienced only sporadic cases recently, COVID concerns still weigh on Chinese stocks.

“Markets could be hit again in the next few weeks, possibly leading to another cut by economists on the street,” Nomura warned, stressing the importance of cities such as Shenzhen, which is also a major port.

The Shenzhen area of ​​Longhua, home to 2.5 million residents, closed entertainment venues and wholesale markets and suspended major events on Tuesday.

Longhua district officials said people must show proof of negative test results within 24 hours to enter residential areas, and restaurants must limit customers to half capacity. The new curbs will last until Saturday.

The moves followed similar measures on Monday involving three other districts affecting more than 6 million people in Shenzhen, which has battled the spread of Omicron sub-variants this year.

City officials have averted a blanket delay for the new school year, but six parents of young children said schools told them to postpone, as many expressed concern in parent chat groups about the uncertainty.


In Dalian, a major import hub for soybeans and iron ore, the lockdown that began on Tuesday will last until Sunday in major urban areas with about 3 million residents. Households can send one person every day to shop for their daily needs.

The lockdown requires non-essential workers to work from home, while manufacturing companies must cut staff on the ground and conduct only essential and urgent operations.

The southwestern city of Chengdu, a city of 21 million people, ordered the closure of public entertainment and cultural facilities from Tuesday.

It planned to delay the start of the fall school semester and required residents to show proof of a negative test result within 24 hours to enter certain areas.

The northern municipality of Tianjin, a city of 13.7 million people, began a new round of city-wide COVID testing for the fourth time since Saturday.

The city of Tianjin has said it will delay the resumption of offline classes for many schools.

In the city of Shijiazhuang, about 3-1/2 hours from Beijing, four major districts ordered more than 3 million people, except those in essential jobs, to work from home until Wednesday afternoon.

In mainland China, 1,717 cases of COVID were reported nationwide during the month of August. Of these, 29,349 are symptomatic and 1,368 asymptomatic, official data showed on Tuesday.

Of the more than 20 places reporting infections on Monday, Tibet, Qinghai and Sichuan province, the capital of Chengdu, accounted for the majority of daily cases.

Xining, the capital of Qinghai, which has a population of 2.5 million, ordered a lockdown in key urban areas from Monday to Thursday morning, halting public transport and restricting movement.

Cases are on the rise in Hong Kong, which does not have the same zero-covid measures as mainland China, with government advisers expecting 10,000 daily infections this week, raising fears that eased curbs could be tightened.

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Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Ryan Woo, David Kirton and Anne Marie Roantree; Edited by Lincoln Feast and Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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