China Covid-19 cases climb in new risk to economic activity

The country reported 450 infections for July 15, the most since May 25. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China's daily tally of Covid-19 cases rose to the highest level in more than seven weeks, as infections spread in some of the country's central, north-western and southern provinces.

The country reported 450 infections for Friday (July 15), the most since May 25, with more than half the cases found in Anhui and Gansu, according to the National Health Commission.

Shanghai, the financial hub that has endured weeks-long citywide lockdown, recorded 33 cases, a drop from the previous day's total.

Data on Friday showed widespread lockdowns to stem the infections strained economic activity in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4 per cent during the period, the slowest pace since the country was first hit by the coronavirus outbreak two years ago.  

The north-western tourist city of Chengdu detected five local cases as of 1.30pm on Saturday, including one asymptomatic infection.

Sources of the outbreak remain unclear and the possibility of finding more positive cases cannot be ruled out, local government officials said at a press conference on Saturday.

The city has traced 289 close contacts of the patients and 273 available test results are negative, they said.

Shanghai reported one new case for Saturday, an asymptomatic patient that was found outside quarantine, the city’s health official Zhao Dandan told reporters in a briefing.

Two regions in Shanghai’s south-west Songjiang district were raised to high-risk. 

Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, imposed a full lockdown Wednesday and ordered its more than 4 million resident to stay at home.

Wugang, a steel and iron-making city of some 300,000 inhabitants in Henan province, announced a lockdown on Tuesday after finding a single Covid case.

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