Streets with hardly any traffic, deserted parks, schools that do not know when they will be able to reopen, restaurants that are not allowed to open their doors except to deliver food at home. Beijing has been experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19 for three weeks with a contagion rate of around 50 people a day, in a population of 22 million people. It may seem like a low number, but it is enough for the population to undergo a daily PCR test, the results of which are automatically uploaded to each person’s mobile health application. If a person does not take the test, after 48 hours they receive a reminder from their application that tells them that they must take a diagnostic test to access public spaces. In the video that accompanies this news, the correspondent for EL PAÍS in Beijing, Macarena Vidal Liy, explains from the capital what it is like to live in China with the new confinement that the Government has imposed to try to contain the new outbreaks of coronavirus.
China’s economic activity registered its biggest contraction in two and a half years this April, due to the strict total or partial confinements in some of its main cities, as part of the zero covid policy with which the Government in Beijing tries to combat to the pandemic. This policy ensured that China kept its covid case counter at a minimum for almost two years, after being the country in which the first infections were detected. But since the entry of the much more contagious omicron variant into its territory this February, the strategy has had a strong negative impact on the economy, especially on travel and transportation, supply chains and consumption. Cities like Beijing, with 22 million inhabitants and which is not officially confined, have imposed teleworking and closed schools due to the persistence of a small outbreak. Shanghai, the economic heart of the country – it accounts for 5% of the national GDP – is under a harsh closure that in some cases lasts two months, and only now is it beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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