China’s economy is showing the first signs of strain with the unraveling of border controls that had previously kept their regions clean of Covid-19.
Since late July, two-thirds of China’s 31 provinces and municipalities have rushed to shut malls and factories and curtail travel to staunch the spread of the Delta strain, which was sparked by imported cases from international flights.
Whether the world’s only major economy not decimated by Covid-19 in 2020 and in the first half of 2021 can emerge from its worst viral resurgence in more than a year depends on how quickly authorities can contain the spike in cases before the pathogen creeps into economic powerhouses like Guangdong province, the country’s main export engine.
Manufacturing and summer travel have already come to a halt in Jiangsu and other provinces that are grappling with outbreaks. The National Health Commission (NHC) reported 108 local infections on Monday, a new daily high this year.