More Chinese cities are imposing restrictions because of COVID-19

The Chinese city of Shanghai announced today a record number of symptomatic cases of COVID-19.

Restrictions against the coronavirus have been imposed in other parts of China as the country continues to pursue a “dynamic cleansing” approach aimed at curbing the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Reuters reported.

The economic zone of Shenzhou Airport – a manufacturing area in central China, where Apple Inc.’s supplier, technology company Foxconn – is located, announced a 14-day lockdown “to adapt to the epidemic” yesterday.

Authorities in the northwestern city of Xi’an yesterday called on residents to avoid leaving their neighborhoods unnecessarily, and companies to force employees to work from home or live at work after dozens of coronavirus infections occurred this month. Responding to residents’ concerns about possible food shortages, a spokesman for the Xi’an authorities said today that the recommendation was not a lockdown and reassured people that the city would not impose one.

Shanghai, the center of a new outbreak recently, reported a record 3,590 symptomatic cases and 19,923 asymptomatic cases yesterday (a slight increase over the previous day, when they were 19,872). COVID-19 cases in the city’s metropolis make up the vast majority of cases in the country, although most of its 25 million residents remain in lockdown.

Prolonged and expanding restrictions are contributing to serious disruptions in supply chains, which are expected to lead to delays in deliveries by companies, including Apple.

Economists warn that the restrictions will affect the country’s economic growth rate this year. Last night, the Central Bank of China reduced the level of cash reserves that banks must have to mitigate the sharp slowdown in growth. Yesterday, the head of China’s electric car maker, Xpeng, said carmakers could have to shut down production next month if suppliers in Shanghai and the surrounding area do not resume operations.

Authorities in the city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, said today that all employees who have the opportunity should work from home, and housing estates and companies should avoid unnecessary movement of people and vehicles. The city has reported more than 500 new cases of COVID-19.

China announced a total of 24,791 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, 3,896 of which were symptomatic and 20,895 asymptomatic. A day earlier, health authorities registered 24,268 new cases.

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