China: Quiet trading floors and hampered supply chains as Covid-19 spreads
Covid-19 is sweeping though China’s capital city according to reports, after strict measures were suddenly removed earlier this month.
The virus has quietened trading floors in Beijing and is also spreading fast in the financial hub of Shanghai, according to a Reuters report.
Stock trading volume has fallen in the last week, with most currency traders in Beijing absent from offices, one trader at a state-owned lender told the agency.
The Chinese capital, home to 19 million citizens, is reportedly encouraging local residents to become temporary delivery drivers, with Beijing’s supply chains crippled by the surge in infections, according to The Times.
China announced at the beginning of the month that it would relax its pandemic measures, meaning only those working in high-risk positions and located in elderly homes, hospitals, child care and primary schools will need proof of a negative test before going to their workplace.
While other institutions can determine their own specific Covid-19 measures. And positive patients with less severe symptoms can quarantine at home instead of staying in isolation facilities.
Leisure venues, such as restaurants and gyms, reopened to international travellers last week.
But the relaxing of rules pulled the brakes on mass testing, meaning there is a lack of official data to record new case numbers.
An increasing number of onlookers are also casting doubt on Beijing’s reporting of Covid-19 death numbers.
Beijing recorded its first deaths in nearly four weeks today, the first since the government dropped its controversial ‘zero Covid’ stance on 7 December.
Models by overseas institutes have warned that China’s full reopening could prompt up to one million Covid-19 deaths, given its population of 1.4 billion.