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Asia Minute: COVID cases are climbing again in China

Virus Outbreak China
Andy Wong/AP
A worker in protective gear places closure notices on the barricaded restaurants at a shuttered commercial office building as part of COVID-19 controls in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer.

Chinaʻs government says COVID-19 cases are spreading at a pace that is close to record highs.

Health officials reported nearly 28,000 cases on Tuesday including outbreaks in Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou.

Overall, more than a quarter of a million cases have been reported in the past three weeks.

Chinaʻs government is continuing its “Zero-COVID” policy with isolation, and targeted lockdowns in areas where cases are present.

Nomura Securities now estimates that COVID restrictions have hit areas that produce nearly 20-percent of Chinaʻs gross domestic product.

In parts of Beijing, schools have closed again, and those who can are being encouraged to work from home. Shutdowns are disrupting production at the manufacturing and port city of Guangzhou— which usually pumps out cars, electronics, textiles and steel.

There are government concerns about COVID on another level.

Hong Kongʻs chief executive tested positive for the virus this week---just days after talking with and sitting next to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the APEC leadersʻ meeting in Bangkok. Neither man was wearing a mask.

Hong Kongʻs government announced John Lee is working from home—no official word on the activities of President Xi.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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