Total daily Covid cases in China rose to the highest levels of the lockdown in Shanghai

Only a few vehicles, including one with two health workers, were passing through Beijing’s central business district on November 23, 2022, as the district announced tighter COVID controls.

Kevin Fryer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Mainland China reported more than 31,000 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including asymptomatic cases.

That surpassed a high of 29,317 recorded in mid-April, during the Shanghai lockdown, according to CNBC’s calculations of wind information data.

However, daily Covid infections with symptoms remain well below the high level seen in April. The data showed that nearly 90% or more of the total Covid cases reported in recent days were asymptomatic.

The southern city of Guangzhou, the national capital of Beijing, and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing were the hardest hit in The latest covid wave.

But nearly 31 provincial-level regions in China reported new Covid infections, with and without symptoms, every day.

Since the weekend, six Covid-related deaths have been reported as of Wednesday, Mostly in Beijing.

Strict Covid controls in China affected sentiment and business activity. The national GDP barely grew during the second quarter due to the lockdowns in Shanghai. As of the end of the third quarter, growth for the year was only 3% higher than a year ago — well below the official target of 5.5% announced in March.

Factories near covid outbreaks have tried to maintain operations using so-called closed-loop management, which typically requires employees to live on site.

Business representatives noted difficulties in transporting workers from closed quarters to factories, while employees who lived on production sites for too long often got tired.

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During the recent covid wave, apple Foxconn’s iPhone factory in Zhengzhou has attracted attention with videos Renewed labor unrest posted on social media. It was not clear how many 200,000 employees were employed at the factory, or if there was any impact on production.

Foxconn said on Wednesday that some new employees have appealed to the company about work allowance, while stating that, contrary to speculation, the new employees will only be moving into disinfected dormitories.

Separately, Zhengzhou said those living in the central part of the city should not leave their homes for five days starting Friday while authorities carry out mass virus testing.

Why China shows no sign of backing down from its strategy

China this month reduced quarantine times And he announced other measures to try to make Covid controls more targeted. But the authorities have tightened their Covid-free policy, while there are concerns about whether the public health system can handle a surge in infections.

Targeted Covid measures

The latest Covid controls on closures of personal businesses and residential buildings are spreading across parts of China, a country of 1.4 billion people. Fewer procedures are being announced, while restrictions are increasingly targeted and can range from a few days – to weeks or more.

For example, Shanghai Disneyland said it plans to resume operations on Friday, after suspending operations due to Covid on October 31.

Meanwhile, despite tight restrictions in Beijing’s business district, the Universal Resort Beijing on the city’s outskirts remains open, after a five-day lockdown that ended on October 31.

— CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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