As much of the world has learned to live with COVID, the Chinese Communist Party remains committed to its zero-COVID policy. According to Nikkei Asia, more than 20% of China’s population is currently subject to COVID-related restrictions.
According to Nomura International (Hong Kong), 49 cities are currently under lockdowns or other movement restrictions as of September 6, affecting 291.7 million people.
About half of Dalian’s 6 million citizens were expected to be affected by the lockdown, which was scheduled to last five days. However, as Nikkei Asia reported, on September 10, local officials decided to extend the lockdown once more, and it is now set to last until about September 17.
Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, went into a COVID lockdown on September 1. Last week, authorities of the city of 21 million extended its lockdown. No date was given for its end.
Since late August, the 13.7 million residents of the port of Tianjin, near Beijing, have been COVID testing. Meanwhile, the city was put in partial lockdown.
COVID lockdowns were also imposed on some areas of Tibet, including the capital, Lhasa.
As the Guardian reported on August 31, the World Health Organization has described the CCP’s policy as unsustainable.
On September 12, a Chinese think tank made a rare statement about the COVID-19 lockdown. The restrictions shut down cities and disrupt trade, travel, and industry.
The think tank said in a report titled It’s Time for China to Adjust Its Virus Control and Prevention Policies, “Preventing the risk of economic stall should be the priority.”
Capital Economics reported that the number of breakouts is at its highest level since April. This affects 41 cities which account for 32% of China’s GDP.
According to CNBC News, Goldman Sachs and Nomura cited weakening demand, uncertainties brought on by the zero-COVID policy, and an energy shortage to downgrade their predictions for China’s GDP.
Both Goldman and Nomura cut their full-year forecasts for 2022 from 3.3% to 3.0% and 2.8%, respectively.