04/02/2020, 11.35
CHINA
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Coronavirus: Henan county quarantined. Economic recovery in danger

Chinese authorities fear a second wave of contagions. Possible infections in a hospital in Jia County. The news from the area clashes with government data on the number of infected. Restrictive measures in Henan come as the economy shows signs of recovery.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Henan authorities have quarantined Jia County for fear of a second wave of coronavirus infections. The measure affects an area inhabited by 600 thousand people, who will only be able to leave their homes with a special permit, wearing protective masks and undergoing body temperature control. Food can be purchased every two days by only one member per family.

Press reports reveal that restrictive measures were taken after four cases of contagion were recorded in a hospital in the area. The virus was reported to have been transmitted by a doctor from the facility that served in Wuhan (Hubei), the epicenter of the epidemic.

All businesses have been closed, except those that supply food and health products. Public utility companies, petrol stations and hotels also remain open.

The news from Henan clashes with official data provided by the government. Yesterday, the National Health Commission reported only 36 cases of contagion, all imported from abroad except one. In total, the infected people are over 82 thousand; about 3300 deaths.

The isolation of Jia County comes as the central government tries to restart the economy, hit hard in the last two months by the forced closure of activities to contain the spread of Covid-19. March data show some signs of revival as the Caixin / Markit manufacturing index jumped to 50.1 points from 40.3 in February (above 50 indicates a growth in production). The government index recorded a more marked growth (52 points).

Meanwhile, Beijing has authorized provincial administrations to issue bonds to finance the construction of new infrastructure. Central authorities have not yet specified the amount, but bonds worth 290 billion yuan (37 billion euros) were issued in February.

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