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Shenzhen Lockdown Eases as Xi Seeks to Soften Covid Impact

Coronavirus Mar 18, 2022 05:38
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© Reuters

(Bloomberg) -- Shenzhen will allow factories and public transport in several parts of the city to resume operations on Friday, partially easing a strict lockdown that has paralyzed the technology hub bordering Hong Kong as President Xi Jinping pledges to soften the economic impact of his Covid-fighting measures.

A total of five districts will re-open from the citywide lockdown, allowing workers in those areas to return to their offices. Train and bus services will resume after being shut down since Monday. The rest of the city will still be subject to movement restrictions, the government said. 

Shenzhen will strive to bring Covid under control with minimal cost and provide customized solutions to ensure business activities and production, the city’s health commission said in a statement published on its website late Thursday.

The partial lifting comes less than a week after the southern tech powerhouse of 17.5 million people was suddenly locked down to quash the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant. China has imposed more lockdowns over the past week than at any point in the pandemic, with Langfang, a city near Beijing, Changchun in the northeast and then its surrounding province, Jilin, all put under movement restrictions. Shanghai has also imposed curbs short of a full lockdown.

It’s also the latest sign that Beijing is taking steps to ring-fence disruptions to the world’s second-biggest economy, while remaining steadfast to its so-called Covid Zero strategy -- even as the rest of the world learns to live with the virus. IPhone maker Foxconn Technology Group was allowed to partially resume its operations in Shenzhen on Wednesday by deploying a so-called closed loop system similar to one implemented successfully during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

China Finds Way to Do Covid Zero While Keeping Factories Open

The need to balance containing Covid and avoiding economic pains now appears to become a top priority as Xi called for more effective measures to control the virus’ spread to mitigate the economic and social impact in a meeting of the Communist Party’s top decision making body on Thursday.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Shenzhen Lockdown Eases as Xi Seeks to Soften Covid Impact
 

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