Millions of Chinese again in lockdown as economic recovery takes its toll
The Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads from Nanjing outbreak. 27 cities and more than 10 provinces affected. Beijing isolated from new areas of infection. Infections also in Henan, devastated by recent floods. In July, the index of manufacturing activities dropped again.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - Lockdown was triggered once again today for millions of Chinese. The outbreak of Covid-19 in Nanjing (Jiangsu) last week has spread to 27 other cities (including the capital) and more than 10 provinces. Chinese health authorities have registered 55 new cases of infection, attributable to the Delta variant of the coronavirus. This is the worst wave of infection since January, exceeding the one in Guangdong in May and June and the most recent one in Yunnan.
Entry to Beijing from the areas affected by the new infections is forbidden, although there are only four confirmed cases in the capital. The provinces of Hunan and Hainan have also been placed under strict health restrictions. The contagion has also arrived in Henan, devastated by recent floods, which according to local sources have caused up to 10,000 deaths, contradicting the figures presented by the authorities (302 victims).
The number of new positives in China is still very low compared to other countries, especially in Southeast Asia. However, the authorities are concerned. The Chinese leadership has claimed to have contained the pandemic within a few months of its appearance in Wuhan (Hubei) in December 2020. On many occasions, President Xi Jinping has stated that the result is due to the superiority of the national socialist system.
The emergence of new outbreaks threatens the country's economic recovery, which continues to slow. The effects of heavy flooding in central China and rising commodity prices are also weighing on the country. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing index fell to 50.3 in July from 51.3 points in June. Above 50 indicates an expansion of the economy, but data released today signalled a significant slowdown.