China reported a record number of daily COVID-19 infections on Thursday, and local authorities are imposing lockdowns nationwide.
What Happened: According to the National Health Commission report, China reported 31,444 new local cases on Wednesday, surpassing the previous peak record of 29,317 on April 13.
On Wednesday, Beijing recorded its fourth COVID-related death since last weekend. It has also reported 1,648 local infections.
Lockdowns, mass testing and restrictions have been imposed in cities including Beijing, Guangzhou and Tianjin.
According to official figures, Shanghai has tightened restrictions on visitors, as it has reported 68 new local cases.
On Thursday, the government announced that it would convert a major exhibition center in Beijing into a hospital to quarantine and treat COVID patients.
Earlier this week, protests erupted at the iPhone assembly factory in China in Zhengzhou following strict COVID norms and related to unpaid dues.
China’s leadership has stuck by its zero-COVID policy, and with the rising COVID cases and stricter norms, the country is heading toward economic uncertainty.
According to a Chinese state media report, the cabinet has announced that it would use cuts in bank cash reserves and other monetary policy tools to ensure enough liquidity.
The consulting firm Capital Economics has reported that more than 80 cities are battling high infection levels, compared with 50 during Shanghai’s lockdown. Those 80 cities generate half of China’s annual gross domestic product.
The chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, Ting Lu, said China’s economy would shrink 0.3% in the fourth quarter compared with the third. The Wall Street Journal reported that he had cut his forecast for full-year growth from 2.9% to 2.8%.
Economists predict the country could see further economic disruption if the lockdown continues affecting major ports and airports.
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