China’s financial centre Shanghai reported a new record number of symptomatic Covid-19 cases on Saturday as the country imposed new lockdowns, underscoring its “dynamic clearance” approach to Covid control.
The Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone, an industrial area in the central province of Henan that houses manufacturing facilities of companies including Apple Inc supplier Foxconn, announced a 14-day lockdown on Friday “to be adjusted according to the epidemic situation.”
Foxconn is the trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.
Only personnel with valid passes, health codes and proof of negative Covid tests will be able to leave the zone during the period, though “special vehicles” will be able to travel normally for work reasons, economic zone authorities said in a post on an official WeChat account.
Foxconn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The announcement came as the northwestern city of Xian said it would temporarily impose a partial lockdown on its 13 million residents following dozens of Covid-19 infections this month.
The new restrictions highlight broad supply chain disruptions that are seen likely to lead to delays in shipments from companies including Apple. Economists also say the curbs will weigh on the country’s economic growth rate this year.
China’s central bank on Friday evening cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves in a move to cushion sharply slowing growth.
On Friday, the chief of Chinese electric-car marker Xpeng said that automakers may have to suspend production next month if suppliers in Shanghai and surrounding areas can’t resume work.
Shanghai, which has been at the centre of China’s latest outbreak, on Saturday reported a record 3,590 symptomatic cases and 19,923 asymptomatic cases for April 15. The asymptomatic case number was up slightly from 19,872 cases a day earlier.
The city’s tally of Covid cases continue to make up the vast majority of cases nationwide even as most of the city’s 25 million residents remain under lockdown. China reported 24,791 new coronavirus cases on April 15, of which 3,896 were symptomatic and 20,895 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.
That compares with 24,268 new cases a day earlier – 3,486 symptomatic and 20,782 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
Henan province, home to the Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone, reported 24 new asymptomatic cases on Friday, and no symptomatic cases.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean OMeara