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How Much Longer Can China Maintain Its ‘Zero-COVID’ Strategy?

MIN READApr 18, 2022 | 19:47 GMT

Workers are seen outside a compound where residents are being tested for COVID-19 in the Jing'an district in Shanghai, China on April 4, 2022.

Workers are seen outside a compound where residents are being tested for COVID-19 in the Jing'an district in Shanghai, China on April 4, 2022.

(HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Shanghai lockdown has renewed questions about the sustainability of China's ''zero-COVID'' strategy, but most signs suggest the policy will persist until late 2022. As a result, ongoing travel and customs restrictions along with sudden logistics bottlenecks will continue to impede global trade and hinder China's already dim economic growth prospects for 2022. Shanghai's COVID-19 lockdown, which was supposed to end on April 5, has been extended indefinitely. Between April 5 and 11, Shanghai recorded 156,277 new COVID-19 cases, surpassing the total number of cases China recorded nationwide between the original Wuhan outbreak in December 2019 and March 18, 2022. In many other countries in the region, similar caseloads in recent weeks have not prevented governments from lifting restrictions; Vietnam, for example, has 7% of the population of China and recorded 383,000 cases between April 5 and 11, but is completely reopening its economy. For China, however, Shanghai's caseload is...

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