New Covid Cases Rising in China, Could Further Disrupt Supply Chain

 New York, NY, March 15, 2022-China’s new daily Covid-19 cases more than doubled, fueled by a worsening outbreak in northeastern Jilin that has seen authorities ban travel to or from the province and restrict the movements of millions of residents, reports the Wall Street Journal. This could add to the supply chain disruption for China-produced flooring.

“Calling the situation ‘severe and complicated,’ Mi Feng, spokesman for China’s pandemic control task force, told a news conference Tuesday that China had recorded more than 15,000 symptomatic locally transmitted infections in 28 provinces so far in March, largely due to the spread of the more infectious Omicron variant.

“The 5,154 new symptomatic and asymptomatic infections found Monday are the highest since early 2020, when the epidemic first erupted in China. About 4,000 were from Jilin province, according to National Health Commission data published Tuesday.

“The majority of infections were in Jilin City and the nearby provincial capital of Changchun, where residents had already been placed under “closed management.” Nonessential businesses must shut and people stay home, with one household member allowed out every other day to buy food and other necessities, while all residents undergo multiple rounds of testing.

“Since the first case was detected in Jilin on March 1, new infections in the province had hovered around 100 a day. But numbers surged Saturday, and China’s vice-premier in charge of its anti-Covid-19 strategy, Sun Chunlan, arrived the next day to spearhead the campaign to halt the outbreak.

“Ms. Sun told authorities to speed up screening by using both nucleic acid and rapid antigen tests, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“Seven hospitals were ordered to empty their wards and turn all efforts to treating symptomatic Covid-19 patients. The province is also building five makeshift treatment facilities to house and observe asymptomatic cases, bringing the available bed count to almost 30,000, according to data provided by the Jilin provincial government during a news briefing Tuesday.”