China re-tightens restrictions in Wuhan, as China’s economy plateaus at ‘80% of typical output’

Business & Technology

national day of covid mourning april 3 peoples daily homepage

All government websites in China have gone into grayscale for April 3 to mark a “day of mourning” for coronavirus “martyrs,” including Dr. Lǐ Wénliàng 李文亮. In this screenshot of the People’s Daily homepage, the banner text across the top reads, “Sincerely mourning the martyrs in the fight against the novel coronavirus and the compatriots who have passed away.”

The Guardian reports:

Residents of Wuhan have been warned to stay indoors [in Chinese] and strengthen protection measures, a few days before travel restrictions on the city at the centre of the pandemic are scheduled to be lifted…

While the number of daily cases has dropped dramatically since February, Wáng Zhōnglín 王忠林, Wuhan’s Communist party chief, said the risk of a rebound in the city’s epidemic remained high due to both internal and external risks and it must continue to maintain prevention and control measures.

April 8 remains the scheduled day for the lockdown in Wuhan to officially begin lifting, but only for those with a green health code in their Alipay or WeChat monitoring app. A separate Wuhan city government announcement reported (in Chinese) that 51 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases have been documented in the city.

Wuhan is not the only place re-tightening restrictions to avert a second outbreak of COVID-19. Sophia Yan at The Telegraph reports:

Jia, a county in the central province of Henan, has banned outward movement [in Chinese] and ordered workers without special permits to stay at home after several new infections were found in the area.

Yunnan, a southern province bordering Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, has blocked citizens leaving from ports in an effort to prevent them returning with the disease. Cinemas have also been ordered to shut once more.

Shanghai, the largest city in China with 25 million people, has closed tourist attractions after a brief period of welcoming guests while entertainment venues such as bars and internet cafes have been shuttered across the country.

Business activity is slowly resuming, even with the start-and-stop pattern of easing lockdowns across the country, according to an index compiled by Beijing-based economic consultancy Trivium. However, Trivium today commented:

China’s economy is plateauing at around 80% of typical output. If this state of affairs persist through Q2, China will almost certainly record negative growth in 2020.

—Lucas Niewenhuis