Covid-19 Delta Variant Represents New Risks for China

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The Delta variant of Covid-19 represents new risks for China as it spreads from the coast to China’s inland cities. It poses new challenges to the government who have for months managed to avoid any widespread outbreak of the Covid-19.

About a month after upsetting the industry in the southern export hub of Guangdong, infections of the Delta strain were reported in Nanjing. Remarkably, the cases showed traces back to a flight from Russia.

Nanjing detected its first Delta infections on July 20. After that, a large number of cities in southern China and a few in the north, including Beijing, have reported infections.

Moreover, it was not immediately apparent whether Nanjing was the source of all the infections. Some authorities have yet to unveil the outcome of their virus-tracing efforts.

Jiangsu is the province with the second-biggest economic output. It accounts for nearly 80% of the confirmed cases.

The emergence of the variant, which is more contagious than the original strain, was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019. Remarkably, it has seen the return of harsh counter-epidemic measures.

China’s overall economy surged more slowly than expected in Q2

Several cities have warned against non-essential travel. They required proof of negative tests for those who travel. Moreover, they launched mass-testing for the virus.

Furthermore, policymakers are under pressure to make sure that while populations are protected, economies are not excessively strained.

Another essential thing to note is that China’s overall economy increased more slowly than anticipated in April-June. It came due to persistently high raw material prices, careful consumer spending and a subdued real estate market.

According to Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, the Delta variant is the biggest test of China’s zero-Covid strategy since the first outbreak last year.

He added that given China’s track record in struggling with the virus so far, they believe they will quash the outbreak before it gets out of control.

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