BEIJING : As some parts of China reopen, others are imposing new Covid-related restrictions, reflecting the challenge government officials face in controlling the worst outbreak since early 2020.
Chinese authorities are trying to maintain their zero-Covid strategy that used swift lockdowns to help the economy grow in 2020. Beijing has increasingly emphasized how the strategy needs to be “dynamic.”
But local officials now face multiple challenges at once: Keeping their jobs whose performance hinges on controlling Covid outbreaks, limiting the spread of a highly transmissible variant and supporting enough growth to achieve the national GDP target of around 5.5% set by Beijing.
Officials at all levels must give top priority to epidemic response,” according to a readout Friday of a top-level government meeting chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Similarly, in a southern manufacturing center of Dongguan, local authorities emphasized the need for “targeted” Covid control measures, including “one policy per business” or factory.
Dongguan’s city-wide lockdown measures announced last Tuesday are set to expire at the end of Monday, although public transit resumed operations on Friday.
The city reported a total of two new confirmed Covid cases over the weekend.
Shanghai has taken one of the most targeted lockdown policies in China, as authorities seek to balance economic growth with Covid control. The city reported 41 new confirmed cases for the weekend.
However, the outbreak is still taking its toll on big businesses. Shanghai Disney Resort announced it would be closed from Monday until further notice due to the pandemic.