On Wednesday, the government reported 19,927 new cases in China’s mainland, all but 2,761 of which had no symptoms. Shanghai accounted for 95% of the total, or 18,902 cases, of which 2,495 had symptoms. The Shanghai city health agency reported seven people who had COVID-19 died Tuesday but said the deaths were due to cancer, heart disease and other ailments. All but two were over 60.

Shanghai allowed 4 million more people out of their homes Wednesday as anti-virus controls that shut down China’s biggest city eased, while the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast of Chinese economic growth and warned the global flow of industrial goods might be disrupted, reports AP.

A total of almost 12 million people in the city of 25 million are allowed to go outdoors following the first round of easing last week, health official Wu Ganyu said at a news conference. Wu said the virus was “under effective control” for the first time in some parts of the city.

Under the latest changes, more than 4 million people are included in areas where the status shifted from closed to controlled, said Wu. He said some are not allowed to leave their neighborhoods and large gatherings are prohibited.

Meanwhile, the IMF reduced its forecast of Chinese growth this year to 4.4% from 4.8% due to the shutdowns of Shanghai and other industrial centers. That is down by almost half from last year’s 8.1% growth and below the ruling Communist Party’s 5.5% target.

China’s case numbers in its latest infection surge are relatively low, but the ruling party is enforcing a “zero-COVID” strategy that has shut down major cities to isolate every case.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse