Spike in covid cases in China’s Zhejiang renews concern of impact on supply chains



BEIJING: China’s Zhejiang province, a manufacturing hub is recording around a million new Covid-19 cases in a single day and the situation has sparked concerns among people regarding its impact on supply chains, Nikkei Asia reported.
Zhejiang, located near Shanghai, has a population of about 65 million people. Its main city, Hangzhou, is home to China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding, as well as other technology firms.
Aside from Apple suppliers, Zhejiang is home to Japanese automaker Nidec and a slew of other foreign manufacturers. Citing a report released on Wednesday by the British research group Airfinity, Nikkei Asia stated that daily instances in China possibly top one million. Zhejiang’s disclosure suggests a far higher figure.
New cases are been reported throughout China. Dongguan in Guangdong Province reported Friday that daily illnesses ranged from 250,000 to 300,000, while Qingdao in Shandong Province reported 490,000 to 530,000 daily infections.
However, official data from the central government do not reflect such rapid spread, raising concerns about the central government’s information disclosure. The provincial government released the number on Sunday, adding that it expects daily infections to peak around New Year’s Day, possibly at 2 million, Nikkei Asia reported.
After China abandoned its restrictive “zero Covid” policy about two weeks ago, regional numbers of infected persons with coronavirus point to explosive outbreaks and overstretched healthcare systems, writes Chang Che, Asia technology correspondent for The New York Times (NYT). However, the intensity and magnitude of the country’s first nationwide outbreak have remained largely a mystery as official figures from the central government remain low.
Notably, the Communist Party has cast aside the restrictive “zero Covid” policy, which set off mass protests that were a rare challenge to the Communist leadership.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of medicine, as Covid rips through parts of China, millions are struggling to find treatment — from the most basic cold remedies to take at home to more powerful antivirals for patients in hospitals.

Gripped with grief and anxiety, many in China want a national reckoning over the hard-line Covid policy. Holding the government accountable may be a quixotic quest, reported NYT.
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