China, Locked Down
A significant transportation link in the south of China shut down as the country battles the greatest statewide COVID-19 outbreak since April.
The lockdown also follows an increase in cases in Beijing, where the nation’s first COVID-19 deaths in in six months reported.
China has recently started to relax its severe COVID-19 rules, which for months devastated both domestic and foreign enterprises. However, experts concerned that as cases once again increase, Beijing’s desire to reopen the country may waver.
Monday saw a decline in oil prices and Asian stock markets as investors worried that China would tighten COVID-19 regulations again. In the morning, the Hang Seng (HSI) Index fell as much as 3.4% and 1.9% less spent at the closing. Mainland Shanghai Composite Index in China decreased by 0.4%.
The price of oil decreased as well, with U.S. crude futures falling 0.4% on Monday during Asian trading hours. The benchmark for world oil, Brent crude, decreased by 0.6%.
People At Risk
With roughly 19 million inhabitants, Guangzhou is one of the largest cities in China. The Baiyun area which is home to one of the busiest airports in the nation, got placed under a five-day lockdown. With 3.7 million residents, Baiyun is also Guangzhou’s most populous district.
The Baiyun district government announced on Monday that all schools closed, public transportation suspended, and citizens should stay inside.
Guangzhou is attempting to contain its worst COVID-19 pandemic in three years as the lockdown implemented. On Sunday, Guangzhou reported 8,181 cases, increasing its total number of infections since October 22 to almost 80,000.
In the second-largest economy in the world, concerns are growing that cities may stagnate once more. The last few days have seen an increase in lockdowns across the board, from Zhengzhou in the center area to Guangzhou in the south, as a result of an increase in instances. China recorded 26,824 new cases across the nation on Sunday.
The nation’s capital city of Beijing reported three COVID-19 deaths over the weekend. According to a statement sent by the district office on Sunday, all in-person classes have got canceled in the city’s Haidian area.
Just a few days after dramatically loosening COVID-19 regulations, Shijiazhuang, the largest city in the northern province of Hebei, likewise reinstated a five-day lockdown beginning on Monday.
The most recent breakouts might make China’s almost three-year-old “zero-COVID” policy harder to abandon.
The central government loosened some of its stringent COVID-19 regulations on November 11. The action raised hopes that China was reversing its strict zero-tolerance policy, which has recently damaged its economy and effectively cut off communication with the rest of the world.
Following the action, markets surged; on Tuesday, the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index entered a technical bull market by rising a total of 14% over the course of three days.
However, Monday’s market sentiment suffered by the new lockdowns.
According to Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management, “the keen driver of the prompt downside momentum is the growing unease that China will not relax COVID-19 lockdown policies because infections are rising again.”
The most recent information regarding China’s COVID-19 management, according to Goldman Sachs analysts, has left investors “confused.”
They continued, predicting that China’s GDP growth would increase from 3% in 2022 to 4.5% in 2023. “Our main message is that the first stage of reopening may be messy and bumpy, whereas the rebound after the initial hurdle could be very sharp,” they said.
Written By Lance Santoyo
CNN: China reports first Covid-19 deaths in nearly 6 months as cases spike
CNBC: China reports first Covid deaths since May lockdown in Shanghai
BBC: China reports first Covid deaths in six months amid strict zero-cases policy
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