Wuhan Locks Down 1M People as China’s Economy Remains Uncertain
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Wuhan Locks Down 1M People as China’s Economy Remains Uncertain

Chinese authorities introduced lockdown measures in a major district in Wuhan, with a population of nearly 1 million people.
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China’s Wuhan imposed a lockdown in a major city district with a population of almost a million people after four asymptomatic coronavirus cases were reported. The move underscores China’s determination to prevent another outbreak in a city from which the devastating virus originated.

More Than 970,000 People Under Lockdown Measures in Wuhan

Wuhan authorities locked down the Jiangxia district after four asymptomatic coronavirus cases were detected in the area. The district, which accommodates over 970,000 citizens, will enforce three days of “temporary control measures” under China’s rigorous zero-Covid policy.

The measures will apply to entertainment centers such as cinemas and bars, but also restaurants and small clinics, as well as places of worship and other spots with large gatherings, the government said in a statement. The authorities will also close all public transport in the district including buses and subway services and have urged residents not to leave the district unless it’s urgent.

The government also identified four high-risk areas in the district where it imposed a complete lockdown, banning people from leaving their homes. In another four medium-risk neighborhoods, the authorities also banned citizens from leaving compounds.

The temporary control measures were imposed to “further reduce the flow of people, lower the risk of cross-infection and achieve dynamic zero-Covid in the shortest time possible,” the statement said.

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Zero-Covid Policy Impedes China’s Economic Growth

China’s zero-Covid policy, which led to weeks-long lockdowns in Shanghai and other major cities earlier this year, is one of the primary factors behind a significant slowdown in China’s economy in 2022. Recent data showed that gross domestic product (GDP) in China grew just 0.4% year-over-year in the second quarter, marking the country’s worst economic quarterly performance since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020.

China’s GDP was down 2.6% on a quarterly basis in Q2, significantly worse than the expected 1.5% decline. The government has been ramping up efforts to bolster its economy, but analysts believe China will have a hard time achieving its 5.5% GDP target for this year without eliminating its stringent zero-Covid strategy. In May, China announced an airdrop of more than $13.51 million worth of digital yuan to stimulate consumption and support the country’s economy.

The second-largest economy has also seen a sharp real-estate crisis in recent months, which resulted in nationwide mortgage boycotts as homeowners refused to make mortgage payments for more than 200 unfinished properties. Chinese authorities attempted to censor data showing the extent of the boycotts, forcing homeowners and investors to share info on GitHub.

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