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Shanghai lockdown: COVID19 hits China’s economy

Despite tremendous attempts to contain it, the covid-19 pandemic swept over the globe in 2 years, causing over 200 million infections and 5 million deaths.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, developed over time, and new variants such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron mutated and disseminated.

China was the first country to be impacted, and it captivated the world’s attention as it struggled to understand and limit the spread.

ECONOMY

According to official data, China’s consumer spending decreased and unemployment surged in March 2022 as Covid-19 lockdowns restricted millions of people to their homes.

Joblessness has reached its peak since the beginning of the epidemic.

In the first 3 months of this year, the country’s GDP increased faster than predicted.

A increase in infections has resulted in lockdowns in numerous major cities, including Shanghai, a financial, industrial, and shipping powerhouse.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, retail sales declined 3.5% in March compared to the previous year. It was the first drop since July 2020.

During the same time period, unemployment reached 5.8%, its highest level since May 2020.

The numbers underscore the increasing likelihood of a dramatic recession in the coming months as major lockdowns and the Ukraine crisis weigh on the world’s second-biggest economy.

Overall, China’s economy grew faster than projected in the first three months of the year.

The gross domestic product (GDP), a crucial economic measure, increased by 4.8% year on year, above economists’ expectations.

However, this is less than Beijing’s target of 5.5% growth this year.

DEATH AND STRATEGY

For the first time since the financial hub shut down in late March, China has acknowledged the deaths of three persons from Covid in Shanghai.

Shanghai’s Health Commission stated in a statement reporting the deaths that the three persons died in hospital on Sunday despite “all efforts to resuscitate them.”

The city has been under heavy lockdown since the discovery of an Omicron-led breakout three weeks ago.

Millions of people have been quarantined in their homes, and everyone who tests positive has been transported to quarantine centres.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye