Economic activities are resuming in the epicenter of the epidemic. Yesterday only 31 cases of infection. Airports in Hubei reopen; Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai remain on high alert. Nissan resumes production; 78 million migrant workers return to the factories, 60% of the total. Still problems for small businesses and the unemployed.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The authorities of Hubei, the epicenter of the lung epidemic, announce the gradual resumption of economic activities in the province. In late January, the area, in particular the city of Wuhan, was quarantined to contain the spread of the virus.
The situation in the country is improving. Yesterday, the authorities registered 31 new cases of infection, bringing the total to 80,955. The death toll reached 3,162; 61,000 were hospitalized and only 285 were suspected (on February 8 there were 29,000).
At present, the provinces of Hubei, Henan, Hebei and Jiangxi, such as the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, remain on high alert. The production restriction will be eased in the counties of Hubei least affected by Covid-19. Yesterday, President Xi Jinping's visit to Wuhan is seen as a green light for the resumption of economic operations.
In some parts of the province, the restrictions were softened as early as March 10th. The Hubei Airports Group, which manages the four local airports, has said that the airports will reopen in the coming days. Nissan, the big Japanese automaker, will reopen the Xiangyang plant this week, albeit partially.
In terms of GDP, Hubei is among the top 10 provinces in China. In 2019, the local economy grew by 7.8% (more than the national average, standing at 6.1%), reaching 4000 billion yuan (507 billion euro).
According to government estimates, 78 million migrant workers (usually residing in rural areas, but employed in urban and industrial areas) have returned to factories, about 60% of the total. In the manufacturing centers of Zhejiang and Guangdong it reaches 70% peaks. Around 2.6 million workers benefited from the government's free transportation program for their travel. Those who work in small industries, and who are without contracts, cannot access these facilities.