In the face of a surging outbreak and overall protests versus its “zero-corona” regime of lockdowns and testing, China started dismantling it this month, evolving as the last major country to move towards living with the virus.
Its containment measures had stalled the economy to its most inferior growth rate in nearly half a century, choking global supply chains and trade. As Chinese workers increasingly fall sick, more disruption should come in the short term before the economy returns later next year.
China reported less than 4,000 new symptomatic local coronavirus cases nationwide on Dec. 22 and no new corona deaths for a third straight day. Authorities have tightened the criteria for coronavirus deaths, provoking criticism from many disease specialists.
Stock Markets Dropping
Zhang Wenhong, director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, was cited in Shanghai government-backed news outlet The Paper on Thursday, expressing China should reach the peak of infections within a week.
Nonetheless, Zhang spoke he had visited nursing homes around Shanghai and detecting the number of elderly dealing with excruciating symptoms was low.
Worries over the near-term impact of China’s coronavirus wave pushed stock markets in China, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in Asia lower. The yuan also dropped.
Infections in China can be more than a million a day, with deaths at more than 5,000 a day, a “stark contrast” from official data, British-based health data company Airfinity said this week.
A Shanghai hospital has counted half of the commercial hub’s 25 million people will get infected by the end of next week. Experts express China could face more than a million coronavirus deaths next year.