China’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on COVID sparks unrest in Shanghai

The strict confinement that some areas of China Due to the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the “zero tolerance” policy towards the virus continues to raise unease in the population, especially in Shanghai, where the largest number of new cases is occurring, while the Government decrees new isolations. In addition, it is feared that the extension in time of the measures will have Serious economic repercussions for China’s richest city.

In Shanghai there are more than a hundred hospitals authorized to attend to 25 million residents who are in isolation. This Saturday a new record of positive and symptomatic cases has been registered, 3,590 out of the total of 3,867 detected in the country, most of them due to local contagion.

Health authorities have also reported the detection of 20,895 asymptomatic cases20,813 of them local -the majority in Shanghai-, although Beijing does not count them as confirmed cases unless they show symptoms.

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In one of Shanghai’s makeshift hospitals is Yu Beibeia woman who has recorded herself with her mobile phone and who shares a space with a thousand other people.

She complains that she is separated from her baby and not even the conditions they were promised are fulfilled: poor hygiene in bathrooms shared by too many peoplelights that never go out, medicines and food that are scarce and they can’t even take hot showers.

New lockdowns

Not only Shanghai remains isolated. Local authorities have confined several areas of the Zhengzhou Airport Economic Areain the province of Henan (center), a decision that embarrasses the largest global iPhone mobile phone assembly plant found there, belonging to Foxconn Technology.

The announcement of the confinement was released on Friday night with immediate effect and implies the prohibition of movement in the affected areas.

The factory staff underwent PCR tests in recent days, as published today by the newspaper South China Morning Post. For the time being, neither Foxconn nor Apple have commented on the consequences of these measures, which could compromise the tech giant’s supply chainalready affected by the forced stoppage of other providers located in the east of the country such as Pegatron Corp (in the province of Jiangsu) and Quanta Computer (Shangái).

Foxconn already had to close its plants in Shenzhen (south) for two weeks, although they have already restarted production.

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Impact on the supply chain

The harsh containment measures of China, which insists on applying its zero covid policy and has confined millions of people due to the large outbreaks caused by the omicron variant, have already had an impact on the supply chains of the Asian country by causing a uninterrupted trickle of stoppages in production and transport.

He Xiaopengco-founder and chairman of Xpeng, one of China’s leading electric vehicle manufacturers, warned on Friday that this industry could be forced to suspend production in May if its suppliers in the eastern metropolis of Shanghai, which remains under strict confinement, are still unable to reactivate their factories due to restrictions.

Also the CEO of huawei and CEO of the intelligent solutions business unit for the technology company, yu chengdongshared the gloomy forecasts for industrial supply chains due to the Shanghai lockdown.

At the moment, the China’s central bank has cut the amount of cash that the banks must have as a reserve, to cushion the slowdown in growth.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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