Friday, Sep 30, 2022 - 17:29:15
124 results - (0.003 seconds)

China’s zero Covid:

latest news at page 1:
123
    TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China continues to battle its worst COVID-19 outbreak, driven by the omicron variant, with health officials on Friday calling the situation “severe and complex.” The country has counted more than 56,000 cases since March 1, according to national health officials, who gave a press briefing Friday. More than half of those cases have been recorded in northeastern Jilin province and include asymptomatic cases as well. The numbers do not include Hong Kong, which tracks its COVID-19 data separately. China continues striving to “achieve dynamic zero-COVID in the short term, as it is still the most economical and most effective prevention strategy against COVID-19,” said Wu Zunyou, an infectious disease expert at China’s Center for Disease Control. “Only by doing dynamic zero-COVID can we eliminate the hidden dangers of the epidemic, avoid the run on medical resources that may be caused by large-scale infections and prevent a large number of possible deaths of the elderly or those with underlying diseases,” Wu added. The “zero-COVID” strategy relies on lockdowns and mass testing, with close contacts often being quarantined...
    Hong Kong (CNN)For nearly two years, China's daily Covid caseload rarely extended into triple digits, and often weeks went by without a single case.Even as the rest of the world struggled to contain new, more transmissible variants, China remained an island -- its borders shut and population largely untouched by the virus. All that changed this month, as multiple outbreaks across the country saw the largest surge in China's local infections since it brought its initial outbreak in Wuhan under control in early 2020. Some 12,000 new cases have been reported in the past three days alone, according to health officials, who have warned the country's defenses are facing the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.2 for the first time. These numbers may seem small in a population of 1.4 billion and when compared to the rest of the world. But to the ruling Communist Party -- which has sought to promote its ability to control the virus as evidence for its superior model of governance -- the outbreak represents a significant political challenge.Read MoreTo respond, China has rolled out its...
    CHINA'S zero-Covid policy could be President Xi Jinping's undoing as his overblown strategy has "locked the country into isolation" from the rest of the world, according to an expert. Former diplomat Roger Garside believes the Communist regime has backed China into a corner as its drastic zero-tolerance approach could "implode upon them or cause a political crisis". 6Xi Jinping could be toppled from power by fed-up rivals from within his own party, one expert claimsCredit: AP 6Expert Roger Garside believes China is 'isolated' as the rest of the world moves towards living with CovidCredit: Getty The expert says that by refusing to import vaccines and enforcing severe lockdowns, the sprawling 1.4billion population has "failed to gain herd immunity". As a result, Mr Garside believes the hardline policy could now inflict "heavy costs" on China's economy and society as citizens grapple with fast-spreading outbreaks and unemployment as businesses are forced to close. Instead of learning to live with the virus as other countries around the world are, the totalitarian regime's response to the pandemic is to instead aim to have zero...
    BEIJING (AP) — Even as authorities lock down cities in China’s worst outbreak in two years, they are looking for an exit from what has been a successful but onerous COVID-19 prevention strategy. A study, interviews with Chinese public health staff and recent public messaging by government-affiliated experts indicate that China is exploring ways of slowly easing its zero-tolerance approach — with the emphasis on slowly. The latest sign came Monday in an essay published by Zhang Wenhong, an infectious disease specialist who is part of Shanghai’s COVID-19 response team and known as China’s “Dr. Fauci” — after U.S. government expert Anthony Fauci — for his public health messaging during the pandemic. Zhang wrote in the Chinese business news outlet Caixin that the public needs to know the virus is becoming less deadly if people are vaccinated and their health isn’t already compromised. “Dispelling the terror toward it is a step we must take,” the essay said. “We should carve a very clear path and not spend all our time debating whether we should continue zero COVID or coexist...
    A man holds up a child to a window on a tent to get tested for Covid-19 in Changchun city, northeast China's Jilin province, on March 15, 2022.Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images BEIJING — China's latest Covid-19 outbreak could hit first-quarter gross domestic product by at least half of a percentage point, Citi analysts predicted in a report Tuesday. In the last few days, mainland China has seen its worst Covid outbreak since the initial height of the pandemic in early 2020 — when the economy contracted. The latest surge in cases, which stems from the highly transmissible omicron variant, has forced some manufacturing hubs across the country to suspend or limit production. The most affected regions account for 16.7% of national GDP, according to Citi estimates. "Economic loss may be real this time," the analysts said. "Jointly considering the spillover effect to other regions, we think the lockdown and tightened quarantine measures this round could potentially deduct ~0.5-0.8 ppt of GDP growth in Q1, assuming no policy responses." Mainland China reported 1,860 confirmed Covid cases for...
    VIDEO4:0504:05U.S. could see Covid uptick over next couple weeks, says Dr. Scott GottliebSquawk Box Low levels of natural immunity are complicating China's efforts to limit spread during its recent surge in cases of the new Covid omicron BA.2 subvariant, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday. "China has a population that's very vulnerable to this new variant. This is a much more contagious variant, it's going to be harder to control, and they don't have a population that has natural immunity," the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said in an interview on "Squawk Box." The BA.2 omicron subvariant, colloquially called "stealth" omicron, was first identified in late 2021. "They haven't deployed vaccines that are very effective against this particular variant, this omicron variant, and so they're very vulnerable to spread right now. They didn't use the time that they bought themselves to really put in place measures that would prevent omicron from spreading," said Gottlieb, who is on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer. The increasing number of BA.2 cases in mainland China has led some major cities on...
    CHINA'S extreme "zero Covid" policy seems ineffective as despite the strict measures 30 million people have been plunged back into lockdown amid soaring Covid cases. Authorities reported 2,300 new virus cases across the country and almost 3,400 a day earlier, the highest daily figure in two years. 5Various cities across the country have been plunged into lockdownCredit: EPA 5Authorities have locked down the Shanghai Tower, the country's tallest buildingCredit: Getty - Contributor 5Shenzhen's 17 million residents were also placed into lockdown on SundayCredit: Getty Ten cities have been so far placed under lockdown as health officials have warned tighter restrictions could be on their way, amid mounting fears of a surge in the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. Strict rules were introduced once again in residential areas and offices in some neighbourhoods of Shanghai, a city of over 24 million people, after cases rose to 432. Police tape, metal gates and rows of community workers in hazmat suits surrounded shuttered shops and homes in closed-off parts of the city in a bid to contain a spreading Covid-19 outbreak. Among the sealed-off buildings was...
    People wait in line for nucleic acid samples in Shanghai, China, March 12, 2022.Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images BEIJING — Mainland China is facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the country clamped down on the pandemic in 2020, with major cities rushing to limit business activity. Shenzhen, the biggest city in the manufacturing hub of Guangdong province, told all businesses not involved with essential public services to suspend production or have employees work from home for a week starting Monday. The production halts reportedly include Apple supplier Foxconn, which did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment. The city, sometimes called China's "Silicon Valley," has shut public transportation and begun a third city-wide round of testing. Shenzhen has reported more than 400 confirmed cases since late February. Those numbers and case counts across China pale in comparison with other countries. But the rapid increase in cases in the last few days has local authorities rushing to control the outbreak as China seeks to maintain its zero-Covid strategy. Shanghai, the coastal metropolis home to many foreign...
    Millions of people across China have been plunged into a lockdown on Sunday as cases of Covid-19 tripled after a surge in infections in the north east cause the worst outbreak the country has seen in two years.  A total of 1,938 new cases of coronavirus have been reported by authorities in China on Sunday, which is three times the Saturday figures.  Tighter controls have been put in place for those looking to access Shanghai, with services in the eastern port city, of over 24 million people, have been suspended after their cases rose by 15 to 432. Anyone wanting to enter Shanghai requires a Covid-19 test to enter.   The nationwide surge in cases has seen authorities close schools in Shanghai and lock down central neighbourhoods in the southern city of Shenzhen.  Neighbouring mainland cities Jilin and Changchun, in the north east, contributed to around three quarters of the total, reporting 1,412 total cases. Entry to Changchun, which neighbours Jilin city and is within the Chinese province of Jilin, has been suspended, with families also told to stay at home.  ...
    A shocking photo has emerged showing bodies lying abandoned on stretchers next to living patients in a Hong Kong hospital as Covid deaths spiral in the city fueled by a low vaccine uptake.  A medic working at the hospital told Hong Kong Free Press the photo was taken inside the Accident & Emergency ward of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong and circulated on Friday. The photo, reportedly taken in early March, showed six body bags lying on stretchers as bed-bound patients struggled to prop themselves up. Body bags lay right beside the surviving patients with tags labelling their contents, a grim omen for those still relying on ventilators for breathing support. Chinese officials are struggling to contain the biggest Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic erupted in Wuhan two years ago. Health authorities reported 29,381 new infections and 196 deaths on Friday.   A shocking photo emerged of bodies stored on the ward of a Hong Kong hospital, forcing China's Hospital Authority to apologize  A person is transferred onto a bus outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong on March 10,...
    BEIJING (AP) — China is tackling a COVID-19 spike with selective lockdowns and other measures that appear to slightly ease its draconian “zero tolerance” strategy. In Hong Kong, which recorded more than 58,000 new cases on Thursday, barber shops and hair salons were reopening. Many are seeing that as an example of mixed messages from the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory that has been ordered to follow the “zero tolerance” approach used on the mainland. The 402 cases of local transmission recorded on the mainland Thursday were quadruple the number of cases a week ago. Of those, 165 were in the northeastern province of Jilin, mainly in the cities of Changchun and Jilin, where city authorities locked down 160 residential communities where multiple cases have been detected. Three rounds of mass testing in Jilin city have also been completed, inter-city transport links suspended and all residents advised to stay home until numbers drop. Non-essential businesses and snow recreation areas were closed. Drivers and passengers of private cars, buses and taxies entering or exiting Changchun must...
    BEIJING (AP) — China is seeing a new surge in COVID-19 cases across the vast country, despite its draconian “zero tolerance” approach to dealing with outbreaks. The mainland on Monday reported 214 new cases of infection over the previous 24 hours, with the most, 69, in the southern province of Guangdong bordering on Hong Kong, which has been recording tens of thousands of cases per day. Another 54 cases were reported in the Jilin province, more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) to the north, and 46 in the eastern province Shandong. In his annual report to the national legislature Saturday, Premier Li Keqiang said China needs to “constantly refine epidemic containment” but gave no indication Beijing might ease the highly touted “zero tolerance” strategy. Li called for accelerating vaccine development and “strengthening epidemic controls” in cities where travelers and goods arrive from abroad. “Zero tolerance” requires quarantines and lockdowns on entire communities and sometimes even cities when as few as a handful of cases have been detected. Chinese officials credit the approach — along with...
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)China has set its lowest official target for economic growth in three decades.Speaking during one of China's most important political gatherings of the year, Premier Li Keqiang said that China would target GDP growth of about 5.5% this year. The world's second biggest economy grew 8.1% in 2021, but the pace of expansion slowed sharply in the final months of the year.Chinese policymakers face mounting challenges to keep growth steady, as the country contends with a real estate crisis and Beijing's zero-tolerance approach to the coronavirus. The fallout from the Ukraine crisis could also slow growth by driving commodity prices higher."A comprehensive analysis of evolving dynamics at home and abroad indicates that this year, the risks and challenges for development rise significantly, and we must keep pushing to overcome them," Li said.China would ensure food and energy security and step up oil exploration and development, Li added. Beijing would spend more on defense, while aiming for a smaller budget deficit of 2.8%.Read MoreThis year's "Two Sessions" meeting kicked off Friday with a gathering of top political advisers...
    On February 16, 2022, patients lie in hospital beds waiting for medical treatment in a temporary holding area outside Caritas Medical Center in Hong Kong.Leung Man Hei | Nurphoto | Getty Images A spike in cases is testing Hong Kong's zero-Covid approach to the coronavirus. Authorities blame the omicron variant and its "extreme transmission speed" for the city's fifth wave of infections. Daily new cases have soared nearly 60-fold since the start of this month, when Hong Kong was reporting just over 100 cases a day. Daily infections have started running into the thousands and on Wednesday hit a record 8,674 cases. Hong Kong authorities said last week that the city has reported more confirmed cases in the fifth wave than the total reported in 2020 and 2021. "The onslaught of the fifth wave of the epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to Hong Kong and overwhelmed the city's capacity of handling," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said last week. Lam has insisted, however, that there are no plans for a "widespread city lockdown." "As far as Hong Kong is concerned,...
    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as the city posted another record number of cases Wednesday, bristling at ever-stricter regulations and a plan to test everyone for the virus. Schools have already switched to online learning and summer holidays are being moved forward so that the buildings can be used as facilities for testing, isolation and vaccination. Hong Kong says it will go ahead with the plan to test every one of its 7.5 million residents three times in March. Under the “zero-COVID-19″ strategy, every person testing positive case must be quarantined in a hospital or other government facility for 14 days regardless of symptoms. It’s in contrast with most countries, which are reducing restrictions and allowing people with mild or no symptoms to remain at home. “The whole world knows we have to live with the virus, only the Hong Kong government does not know,” said taxi driver Chan Tai-man. “Actually it’s not that they don’t know, they only do what...
    Chinese officials on Thursday admitted the massive lockdowns imposed against coronavirus outbreaks in major cities across China are inflicting significant damage upon the Chinese economy. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that “multiple teams” have been assembled to brainstorm methods of coping with the economic fallout from “zero-Covid” policies and devise less draconian methods of containing future outbreaks. Judging from the approach taken by these teams, the Chinese Communist dictatorship is a little nervous about growing public unease with the deranged lockdowns imposed on cities like Xi’an over the past few months: Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said researchers were “certainly able” to roll out new strategies in the near term, while noting they were “actively thinking and planning”. Improved control measures would differ from the current “dynamic clearing” policy, but China is unlikely to simply lift all restrictions as some Western countries have done, he said at a forum on Tuesday held by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University. Any changes to China’s pandemic policies would put...
    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s Fung Shing Restaurant was bustling this week as customers came for one last taste of the traditional Cantonese dim sum that has made it famous. With COVID restrictions cutting too deeply into its bottom line, the restaurant will shut its doors for good on Sunday, another economic victim of the pandemic. Many fear the worst is yet to come, however, with Hong Kong experiencing its most severe outbreak yet, and fret the authorities’ determination to stick to mainland China’s “zero-COVID” strategy may prevent it from recovering as a financial and travel hub. “Even though maybe zero-COVID can be reached, there is still uncertainty on how long it can be maintained and what the cost is of maintaining it,” said Natixis senior economist Gary Ng. “The biggest risk of Hong Kong in 2022 is that it may be entering the path of basically, if not recession, at least a downward drag in economic growth again while the world begins to normalize,” Ng said. Hong Kong has seen banks close branches and movie theaters have...
    To overcome the pandemic of Covid-19, Many countries, especially in Southeast Asia and Oceania, have pursued an aggressive health policy aimed at eradicating the virus from their territory. A strategy that was initially paid for but then undermined by more infectious types justifies abandoning this so-called “zero covid” policy. ► Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, undeniable From March 2020, the China Not dissimilar from his strategy: Big remedies for big evils. With the emergence of a pandemic outbreak, authorities impose strict and sometimes very long lockdowns, Lifted on January 24 in Xi’an, Home to 13 million people more than a month after its founding. The virus would have infected only 2,000 people in the former imperial capital. → Analysis. Hong Kong overwhelmed by Omicron variant and its” zero covid ” policy China, in the lap of Hong Kong and its pro-Beijing government, is also pursuing its aggressive health policy to curb pollution. But in the former British colony, the Omicron variant “Gave a heavy blow (…) And exceeded the management capacity of the city”​, Agreed on Sunday, February 13, the...
    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong residents expressed growing frustration Thursday after new, tighter coronavirus restrictions went into effect, imposed by city leaders in line with Beijing’s zero-COVID policy. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam ordered new strict measures to take effect Thursday as the highly-contagious omicron variant of the virus causes record daily cases. That includes limiting public gatherings to two people and private ones to members of only two households. Places of worship, hair salons and other businesses were ordered to close. Such measures are part of Hong Kong’s effort to align itself with mainland China’s “zero-COVID” policy, which aims to totally stamp out outbreaks, even as infection numbers continue to rise and other countries shift their approach to living with the virus. Outside a vaccination center in the Sai Wan Ho area on Thursday, retiree Ken Wong waited in a long line to get his first shot so that he would qualify for a “vaccine pass” when it’s available. “This is insane,” the 70-year-old said. “There is no way to reach zero cases. If we...
    Hong Kong (CNN)Many athletes from Western countries were stunned by the stringent Covid-19 restrictions they met upon arrival in Beijing for the Winter Olympics in recent weeks. Some were placed in isolation for weeks after testing positive, while others complained about the bland food served in quarantine. The measures were a violation of human rights, one Finnish coach argued. But for 1.4 billion people across China, the conditions inside the Olympic bubble present something of a microcosm of the country during the pandemic.China is one of the few places still adhering to a strict zero-Covid approach, whereby snap lockdowns, mass testing, contact tracing and tight border restrictions are deployed in a bid to stamp out all traces of the disease. Olympians pushed to their limits over uncompromising Beijing Covid-19 controls New variants and increasingly frequent outbreaks have raised questions about how sustainable this strategy is. But with thousands of athletes and support staff flying in from around the world -- many from countries still seeing high cases after deciding to "live with Covid" -- Beijing is taking no chances.The...
    VIDEO1:5501:55Trying to stop omicron is like 'trying to stop the wind': EpidemiologistSquawk Box Asia China's strict zero-Covid approach won't be able to limit the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant, according to a U.S. epidemiologist. Beijing may not be able to use the same "authoritarian approaches" against omicron because the variant is unlike the others, Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said on Friday. "Trying to stop omicron is kind of like trying to stop the wind," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia." China is "uniquely at risk" to omicron, Osterholm said, for a combination of reasons: Early studies suggest its Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines are "not very effective" against the variant, and at the same time China's success at preventing the spread of Covid so far means it has a very large population that remains vulnerable. CNBC on Friday requested comment from China's embassies in Washington, D.C., and Singapore, but had received no response at the time of this report's publication. China, which recorded its first omicron case in January, has doubled...
    Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to the audience at the Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019.Lisi Niesner | Reuters Chinese leader Xi Jinping's position is at risk, billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros has claimed. Speaking via teleconference on a panel with the Hoover Institution on Monday, Soros argued that the omicron Covid-19 variant "threatens to be Xi Jinping's undoing" as the virus is "no longer under control" in China. "The Chinese vaccines were designed to deal with the [original] Wuhan variant, but the world is now struggling with other variants," Soros said. "Xi Jinping couldn't possibly admit this while he is waiting to be appointed for a third term — he is hiding it from the Chinese people as a guilty secret." A spokesperson for the Chinese government was not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC. Soros claimed that Xi's only available move, therefore, has been to impose China's zero-Covid policy, which has been criticized for its widespread economic ramifications both at home and abroad.VIDEO2:5502:55Chinese growing tired of country's zero-Covid policyThe News with Shepard SmithThe...
    Beijing has locked down two more districts of Beijing after 23 new Covid cases were reported over the weekend, putting thousands of people under restrictions. With only four days to go until the Winter Olympics begins with the opening ceremony on Friday, officials have put a second and third area of Beijing under lockdown. Authorities have locked down housing compounds in Fengtai district, which has an estimated population of 2.26million, and the Anzhenli neighbourhood, in Chaoyang district, which has approximately 68,000 people, over the last few days. Residents in both Anzhenli and the housing compound in Fengtai are not allowed to leave their residencies, and will be tested daily. This comes after 1.2million people in Xiong'an New Area, a new economic zone 60 miles southwest of Beijing, were ordered to stay in their homes over a handful of coronavirus cases at the weekend. Beijing has locked down two more districts of Beijing after 23 new Covid cases were reported over the weekend, putting thousands of people under restrictions. Pictured are staff members of the Games wearing protective hazmat suits at...
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)Coronavirus outbreaks and strict lockdowns in China are continuing to take their toll on the country's factories.A private index measuring activity at factories in China fell to 49.1 in January from December's 50.9. It's the lowest level for the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index since February 2020, when the coronavirus first paralyzed large swathes of the Chinese economy.It's also the sharpest contraction in industrial output since the pandemic initially broke out. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while anything above that gauge shows expansion."The recent uptick in Covid-19 cases in China, and subsequent round of fresh restrictions, weighed on manufacturing performance at the start of 2022," the index's compiler, IHS Markit, said in a statement Sunday. The private survey is focused on small and medium-sized companies.Bigger and state-owned firms didn't seem to fare much better, according to data released by the government on Sunday. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 50.1 in January from December's 50.3. The official non-manufacturing PMI also fell to 51.1 in January from December's 52.7. Read MoreChina's National Bureau of Statistics...
    VIDEO2:1402:14Supply chain issues can't be ruled out if China maintains zero-Covid rules: HSBCSquawk Box Asia China's zero-Covid restrictions will impact global supply chain recovery as any small disruption in the country will likely lead to "ripple effects" across the world, according to the head of shipping at HSBC. The pandemic has revealed "how lean the supply chain has become. And there is little margin of error," said Parash Jain, global head of shipping and ports equity research at HSBC. "The sheer importance of China when it comes to global trade means that any small disruption in China, will have a ripple effect across the supply chain," Jain told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Monday. China, the world's second largest economy, has doubled down on its zero-Covid strategy due to recent spikes in infections across the country. Covid cases have been reported in the key port cities of Shenzhen, Tianjin and Ningbo, as well as the industrial hub of Xi'an, resulting in lockdowns and curbs in the largest port hubs. As long as China maintains this very strict zero-Covid stance, we cannot rule out a disruption...
    China's draconian Covid measures mean the thousands of athletes, journalists and coaching staff arriving for the Winter Olympics are having to isolate from the general public for the entirety of the Games. Anyone who comes from abroad is taken from the Beijing airport in special vehicles to a hotel surrounded by temporary barricades that keep participants in and the public out. 'I know the only experience of Beijing I'm going to experience is the Beijing I will see out of my bus window and my hotel window,' said Associated Press photo editor Yirmiyan Arthur, who arrived this week.  Employees work at a Covid-19 testing area of Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics An employee, wearing a hazmat suit, holds a swab sample just collected during a daily Covid-19 PCR test on a member of the media Medical staff in personal protective equipment are seen at a speed skating training session for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics 'I'm not really going to experience China, I'm just going to experience the Olympics within the bubble.' The experiences of...
    A woman shows her swab and test kit to a health worker before receiving a nucleic acid test for Covid-19 at a private testing site on January 17, 2022 in Beijing, China.Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images The economic costs of China's zero-Covid policy are increasingly expected to outweigh its benefits, according to U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley. China's zero tolerance for Covid leaves the country at a disadvantage compared to other countries with an endemic strategy, its chief China equity strategist Laura Wang told CNBC's Emily Tan. In January, the U.S. investment bank cut its forecast for China's first quarter GDP — lowering estimates to 4.5% growth year-on-year, from its previous prediction of 4.9%. "We [started] to see a lot of pressure from omicron," said Wang. "This year, the cushion from growing exports may potentially not be as high as … last year because a lot of other countries and markets [are] already reopening." "We are therefore expecting bigger earnings consensus reduction. At this point, we think investors are still being too bullish with their...
    A screen displays an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping next to exhibits depicting medical workers' fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China November 11, 2021.Carlos Garcia Rawlins | Reuters China's zero-Covid policy and broader economic circumstances could be weighing on currencies that should be reaping the benefits of higher commodity prices, strategists at BMO Capital Markets have suggested. Although commodity prices have soared so far in 2022, with Brent crude on Wednesday notching its highest price since October 2014, commodity-based currencies such as the Norwegian krone and Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars have been relatively subdued. As of Friday morning in Europe, the Aussie dollar was down 0.9% and the kiwi by 1.45% against the greenback year-to-date. The Canadian dollar was also down 0.9% year-to-date, while the U.S. dollar had gained 0.55% against the Norwegian krone. "What we would typically expect to see is the New Zealand dollar rallying alongside agricultural commodity prices and Aussie rallying alongside base metals, but thus far this year, Aussie and...
    Streets in Tianjin, China, empty out on Jan. 10, 2022, as the city enters partial lockdown following a spike in omicron cases.Geno Hou | Future Publishing | Getty Images Covid lockdowns, quarantines and restrictions are causing a backlog in some of China's major ports, resulting in "chaos" and pushing up air freights by as much as 50% in some cases, analysts tell CNBC. Ahead of the extended Lunar New Year holiday in China, air freight rates have spiked and some shipping firms have suspended services, putting the spotlight on overwhelmed supply chains again. It comes as China pushes ahead with its zero-Covid strategy — which means a recent spike in infections has resulted in lockdowns and curbs in the largest port hubs and major cities across the country. "Although ports are still open, current restrictions – like mandatory quarantines and testing – continue to slow down transport and cause delays," Atul Vashistha, founder and chairman of supply chain consultancy Supply Wisdom, told CNBC. China's key priority right now is to limit the spread of Covid cases ahead of next month's...
    China's Covid vaccine may offer virtually zero protection against Omicron, scientists have warned.  Two doses of the CoronaVac jab was found to trigger 'undetectable' antibody levels in lab studies by Yale University. A Pfizer booster increased antibody levels among those double-vaccinated with the Chinese-made jab - but only to levels comparable among people given two Pfizer or Moderna injections, the team said.   The finding suggests the billions of people given the jab have no protection against infection.  CoronaVac, manufactured by the Chinese pharma giant Sinovac, is authorised in 50 countries around the world.  Professor Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale and senior study author, warned 'an additional booster shot — and possibly two' may be needed in these countries.  It will come as a warning signal for China which has solely relied on its homegrown jabs, which also include Sinopharm. China — which only reported 0.09 cases per million people yesterday, compared to the UK's 1,357 per million — has reverted to draconian local lockdowns over the last month.  CoronaVac uses an inactivated version of the virus to stimulate the body's...
    VIDEO3:0803:08China's zero-Covid policy is threatening recovery of supply chains: Moody'sSquawk Box Asia Supply chain disruptions are being prolonged driven largely by China's strict zero-Covid policy, according to an economist from Moody's Analytics. The bottlenecks have lasted for about a year now but are expected to "materially ease in the early months of this year," said Katrina Ell, a senior economist for Asia-Pacific at Moody's Analytics. "So we would start to see material downward pressure on things like producer prices, input prices that kind of thing. But given China's zero-Covid policy and how they tend to shut down important ports and factories — that really increases disruption," she told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Friday, adding it amplifies ongoing supply chain pressures. Beijing has imposed a strict zero-Covid policy since the pandemic began in early 2020. It entails strict quarantines and travel restrictions — whether within a city or with other countries — to control outbreaks.  Restrictions aimed at containing Covid-19 have impacted manufacturing and shipping operations globally, exacerbating the supply chain crisis. There have been renewed concerns that the highly infections...
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)The Chinese government's unwavering insistence on stamping out any trace of the coronavirus is facing its biggest test yet as authorities grapple with Omicron's quickening spread. And it could cost the world's second largest economy dearly this year. The Covid-19 variant has been cropping up across China in recent days, including in major port cities like Dalian and Tianjin, prompting restrictions that could upend business operations in those places. The rest of the world is also dealing with Omicron, but China is different because of how intent authorities are on preventing any widespread outbreak by locking down cities and curbing travel. The strict approach has so far been effective: China has recorded far fewer Covid-19 cases than many other nations during the pandemic, and its economy was the only major one to grow in 2020. Omicron, though, threatens to expose some serious flaws in that plan. The variant is much more transmissible than others, making it difficult to contain. And as the rest of the world learns to live with the virus, economists say China's zero-tolerance strategy...
    Athletes will need to be vaccinated — or face a long quarantine — take tests daily and wear masks when not competing or training. Clapping is OK to cheer on teammates, not chanting. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be sent into isolation and unable to compete until cleared for discharge. Welcome to the Beijing Olympics, where strict containment measures will aim to create a virus-proof "bubble" for thousands of international visitors at a time when omicron is fueling infections globally. The prevention protocols will be similar to those at the Tokyo Games this summer, but much tighter. That won't be a stretch in Beijing, with China having maintained a "Zero COVID-19" policy since early in the pandemic. Still, China's ability to stick to its zero-tolerance approach nationally is already being tested by the highly transmissible omicron variant, which is more contagious than earlier variants of the virus and better able to evade protection from vaccines. With just weeks to go before the Feb. 4 start of the Games, more than 20 million people in six cities are under...
    Athletes will need to be vaccinated — or face a long quarantine — take tests daily and wear masks when not competing or training. Clapping is OK to cheer on teammates, not chanting. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be sent into isolation and unable to compete until cleared for discharge. Welcome to the Beijing Olympics, where strict containment measures will aim to create a virus-proof “bubble” for thousands of international visitors at a time when omicron is fueling infections globally. The prevention protocols will be similar to those at the Tokyo Games this summer, but much tighter. That won’t be a stretch in Beijing, with China having maintained a “Zero COVID” policy since early in the pandemic. Still, China’s ability to stick to its zero-tolerance approach nationally is already being tested by the highly contagious omicron variant, which is more contagious than earlier versions of the virus and better able to evade protection from vaccines. Still, China’s ability to stick to its zero-tolerance approach nationally is already being tested by the highly contagious omicron variant, which is more...
    Residents line up for mass Covid-19 testing on Jan. 9, 2022, in Tianjin, after the municipality reported 20 news cases over the weekend.Feature China | Future Publishing | Getty Images BEIJING — China's zero-Covid policy for controlling the pandemic affects consumers more than factories, economists say. As local authorities impose more travel restrictions and a few lockdowns to contain the omicron Covid variant, analysts are turning cautious on China's economy. Goldman Sachs cut its growth forecast for the year on Tuesday. But the analysts focused on the impact to China's already sluggish consumer spending. Omicron's high transmissibility means the costs of China's zero-Covid policy are rising, while benefits are falling, Nomura's Chief China Economist Ting Lu said in a report Monday. He noted how in hospitality, business has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels and industry workers might be draining their savings and spending less. Not on the list of costs was manufacturing. On the positive side, "the zero-Covid strategy, plus Beijing's ability to mobilize all the country's resources, has arguably brought significant benefits to its people and economy, with...
    Hong Kong (CNN)China's northern port city of Tianjin and central province of Henan have further tightened Covid restrictions as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread, posing the gravest challenge yet to the country's zero-Covid strategy.Tianjin, which detected China's first community spread of Omicron on Saturday, is rolling out a second round of mass testing on its 14 million residents on Wednesday. As of noon Tuesday, 97 people had tested positive.The outbreak is particularly worrying to officials in Beijing, which lies about 80 miles northwest of Tianjin -- and about 30 minutes away by high-speed rail. The Chinese capital is due to host the Winter Olympics on February 4.Tianjin officials said at a news conference Tuesday that all bus services to Beijing had been suspended. Train tickets from Tianjin to Beijing have been closed for purchase online since Sunday evening. On Wednesday, 425 flights were canceled at Tianjin Binhai International Airport, accounting for 95% of all scheduled flights, according to flight tracking app VariFlight.Read MoreTianjin authorities on Sunday ordered citizens not to leave the city unless absolutely necessary. Those...
    Sprawling quarantine camps with rows upon rows of cramped metal boxes to house people suspected of having Covid-19 have sprung up in China, social media videos show. The Communist country is attempt to eradicate the virus despite warnings that the more infectious Omicron variant makes a Zero Covid strategy impossible, even with the draconian measures used by Beijing.   There are now a total of 20million people confined to their homes in China after the cities of Anyang and Yuzhou joined the 13million in Xi'an under quarantine and banned from leaving their home even to buy food.   Anyang, home to 5.5 million people, was locked down late Monday after two cases of the omicron variant were reported - and some residents of locked-down cities have told the BBC that they were part of a 'big transfer' of thousands of people to the camps. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are believed to be among those sent to the Xi'an camps, with insiders sharing the horrors of their detention in the Zero Covid state. Footage widely shared online shows people in the...
    Hong Kong (CNN)As harrowing stories continue to emerge from within the locked-down city of Xi'an, a wave of disbelief has washed over the Chinese public: why are such tragedies still unfolding two years into the pandemic, in a major metropolis of 13 million people?Xi'an was placed under strict lockdown orders on December 23 in a drastic bid to contain the spread of a fast-growing Covid cluster. But in the days and weeks since, a steady stream of complaints about food shortages, as well as heartbreaking scenes of critical patients -- including heavily pregnant women -- being denied medical care have shocked the nation.Many were reminded of the traumatic early days of the pandemic in Wuhan, the original epicenter where 11 million residents were confined to their homes for months in 2020.Back then, Wuhan was blighted by extreme shortages in medical resources and soaring food prices, but the chaos and frustration eventually ended -- and the outbreak brought under control. China has since relied on a combination of mass testing, snap lockdowns and extensive quarantine measures to stamp out renewed flare-ups....
    (CNN)As the locked down Chinese city of Xi'an claimed victory this week in its fight to contain the community spread of Covid-19, harrowing tales of loss and despair have emerged on social media -- highlighting the immense human cost of China's zero-Covid policy.The city of 13 million has been under strict lockdown since December 23, as it grapples with the country's worst coronavirus outbreak since Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic. But local authorities have faced a public outcry over perceived incompetence, and disproportionately harsh measures that critics say harm the lives of those they are supposed to protect.Over the past two weeks, Chinese social media has been flooded with posts from residents who say they have not received food, basic supplies, even medical care -- painting an image of local government dysfunction as pressure builds on local officials to contain Covid just weeks before major Lunar New Year festivities and the Beijing Winter Olympics. One heavily pregnant woman was allegedly turned away from a hospital on New Year's Day because she didn't have a valid Covid-19 test, according...
    China has sealed off thousands of Winter Olympic staff and volunteers for a month, banning them from the outside world as part of its zero-Covid policy to protect next month's Games.  China, where the virus emerged toward the end of 2019, has pursued a zero-tolerance strategy on Covid-19 and is taking the same approach to limit the pandemic's potential impact on the February 4-20 Winter Olympics and subsequent Paralympics.  Starting Tuesday, thousands of Games-related staff, volunteers, cleaners, cooks and coach drivers will be cocooned for weeks in the so-called 'closed loop' with no direct physical access to the outside world.  That contrasts with the Covid-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics, which allowed some movement in and out for volunteers and other personnel.      China has sealed off thousands of Winter Olympic staff and volunteers for a month, banning them from the outside world as part of its zero-Covid policy to protect next the February Games (pictured, staff in PPE inside the 'bubble') The global media and roughly 3,000 athletes are expected to start arriving in the Chinese capital in the weeks ahead and...
    Hong Kong (CNN)For residents in China's northwestern city of Xi'an, the start of 2022 is looking a lot like 2020 -- only worse. Since December, the ancient city known as the home of the Terracotta Warriors has been grappling with China's largest community coronavirus outbreak since Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic.To date, more than 1,600 symptomatic infections have been reported in the city. While the number pales in comparison to those in many other countries, the outbreak pushed China's caseload in the final week of 2021 to the highest level since March 2020.For 12 days and counting, Xi'an's 13 million residents have been confined to their homes. The city, formerly a tourist hotspot, welcomed the new year with deserted streets, shuttered stores, sealed-off residential compounds and an empty airport.The lockdown is the strictest and largest since Wuhan, which sealed off 11 million people in early 2020. Read MoreBut it is also among the most chaotic, leaving residents short of food and other essential supplies and affecting access to medical services.A groundswell of anger and frustration at the local...
    (CNN)Perhaps it was naive to expect that China's rigid approach to fighting Covid-19 -- complete with locking down millions of people and using invasive surveillance to keep tabs on citizens -- would not eventually cause problems for the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics amid an ongoing global pandemic. Michael BociurkiwAn indication of how uncertain the situation has become for Olympic organizers was last week's decision by North America's National Hockey League (NHL) to skip the Games amid the league's surge in coronavirus cases and potential lengthy quarantine in China if players test positive in Beijing. Last week, a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Shanghai was turned around midair due to new airport cleaning rules that an airline spokesperson called "not operationally viable."Meanwhile, China is battling one of its worst outbreaks of the year in Xi'an, a city 600 miles southwest of Beijing, where 13 million residents are currently on lockdown. The city reported 175 new local symptomatic cases on Tuesday -- the highest daily count in nearly two years.China, which has relied on a number of...
    RESIDENTS under strict lowdown rules in one of China’s largest cities say they are facing starvation after they were banned from going outside to get food. Officials running the city of Xi’an on Monday told its 13million inhabitants they were only allowed out from their homes when invited to take part in a new round of mass Covid testing, or for medical emergencies. 4Xi’an recorded 175 new cases on TuesdayCredit: AFP 4The city's tough lockdown rules mean no one is allowed outside unless for the mass testing or on medical groundsCredit: Alamy 4Anyone seen driving on the streets are to be jailed and given a fineCredit: Getty Before the severe measures were introduced, one member from each household was allowed out once every two days to buy food. It comes as a string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta. Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials...
    CHINA has ramped up its brutal "zero Covid" lockdown restrictions with anyone seen driving to be jailed after 162 cases were reported. The city of Xi'an was raised to the "strictest" level in an effort to control the country's worst outbreak in 21 months. 3A truck spraying a fog of disinfectant onto the streets of Xi'anCredit: Getty 3Anyone seen driving on the streets are to be jailed and given a fineCredit: Getty 3Today 162 cases were reported in the city of Xi'anCredit: Getty It comes as a string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta. Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said. The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions. Although no cases of the Omicron variant have yet been detected in Xi'an, the Chinese government remains on edge that any outbreak...
    CHINA'S strict "zero Covid" policy with harsh lockdowns is failing in the battle against the Omicron variant. The country has the world's strictest strategy with the most recent one being imposed on 13 million residents in the city of Xi’an after 200 cases were recorded. 4China's strict "zero Covid" policy is not working against OmicronCredit: Reuters 4The city of Xi’an has been placed on lockdownCredit: Alamy And as the highly transmissible Omicron variant has hit China, the country's homegrown vaccines are proving insufficient against the strain, putting under threat the Beijing Olympics that are set to take place in February, report the Times. A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta. Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said. The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions. China's response to the...
    The scientist who warned the world about the Omicron Covid-19 variant has told China its 'Zero Covid' police won't work against the super-transmissible mutant variant. The Chinese city of Xi'an's 13 million residents were ordered on Thursday into a draconian stay-at-home lockdown because of 250 cases.  It means all households may only send one household member outside once every two days to shop for necessities.  But Tulio de Oliveira, director of the Centre for Epidemic Response & innovation (CERI) in South Africa, said the measures won't work. He wrote on Twitter: 'China will have great difficulty with #omicron and zero covid policy.  'They may [email protected] to join the rest of the world with mitigation strategies. #China should not punish its public health officials or citizens or foreigns because a more transmissible variant.' It is not know what variant the Chinese outbreak is but Omicron is thought to be the most likely.   Pictured: A map showing Xi'an, a Chinese city of 13 million that has been locked down due to an outbreak of Covid-19, and its relative location to Beijing - where the 2022...
    Hong Kong (CNN)As the world grapples with the new Omicron coronavirus variant, China is determined as ever to eliminate Covid-19 within its borders -- but it hasn't been able to achieve that ambitious goal for the past seven weeks.Since October 17, China has reported at least one locally transmitted case everyday, as local outbreaks continue to flare up one after another with increasingly short intermissions.While its caseload pales in comparison with those of many countries -- including the United States, which is averaging more than 100,000 new cases a day -- the unceasing flareups underscore the growing challenge China faces to keep infections at zero.For more than a year, China has been highly efficient in curbing local outbreaks with mass testing, snap lockdowns, vigilant surveillance and extensive quarantines -- all the while keeping the border tightly sealed.As proof of the success of these measures, not a single Covid-related death has been reported in the country since late January. Read MoreMore recently, however, authorities have resorted to ever more stringent measures, quarantining not only residents who have been in direct contact...
    China expects to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics 'smoothly' and on schedule, despite challenges posed by the emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. The emergence of the new variant is having a knock-on effect around the world, with many countries tightening restrictions and adapting border policies as a result. Omicron's rise and potential spreading arrives as the winter period reaches its peak, though the games are said to have full prior planning and will press ahead as normal.  China expects to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics 'smoothly' and on schedule despite Covid RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Health chief warns 'don't socialise before Christmas unless... What ARE the new Covid rules? Government says travellers can... 'If you're standing up and not drinking, wear a mask':... The returned passenger who could give Australia's top doctor... Share this article Share Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday: 'I believe it will definitely pose some challenge to our efforts to prevent and control the virus, but as China has experience in...
    Hong Kong (CNN)As countries around the world scramble to impose travel bans to stem the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, China remains outwardly calm -- at least for now. Despite two confirmed cases of the heavily mutated variant in Hong Kong, Chinese public health experts have expressed a confidence in the country's existing border control measures.China's response -- or the lack thereof -- is hardly surprising. The country's border restrictions are already among the strictest in the world, with most foreign visitors, from tourists to students, banned from entering mainland China. Those few who are allowed to enter, as well as returning Chinese citizens, must undergo at least 14 days of strict centralized quarantine. And that can be extended to up to 28 days by local authorities, often followed by another lengthy period of home observation.Zhang Wenhong, an infectious disease expert in Shanghai and arguably China's most trusted voice on Covid-19, said the new variant would have "no major impact on China at this time.""China's current rapid response and dynamic clearance strategy is capable of dealing with all types...
123