Covid infections are on the rise in China’s export-heavy Guangdong province’s capital, increasing fears of yet another drag on the national economy.
As of Thursday, the majority of students in eight of Guangzhou’s eleven districts began taking their courses entirely online. Greater parts of the city have issued mandatory shelter-in-place orders and closures of non-essential businesses in recent days.
Official estimates show that the national GDP grew by only 0.4% in the second quarter of this year as a result of two-month lockdown of the financial hub Shanghai and wider Covid controls. Despite a strong 3.9% expansion in GDP during the third quarter, exports unexpectedly fell in October.
The number of Covid cases in Guangdong had increased to 500 as of Wednesday, a fivefold surge in just one week. During that time, the number of infections without symptoms increased sevenfold to almost 2,500 cases.