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IMF Asks China To Boost COVID Vaccination As Tally Hits Record With 31,444 New Infections

On Thursday, China’s National Health Commission claimed that the number of new cases reported in the past 24 hours was 31,444, highest daily figure since 2019.


Image: AP

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in China has become a matter of worry for people all around the world. On Thursday, China’s National Health Commission claimed that 31,444 cases were reported in the past 24 hours, which is the highest daily figure since COVID-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. Keeping a close eye on the matter, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) has urged China to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccinations. It has urged the Xi Jinping administration to “recalibrate the strategy to deal with the virus.” 

This comes in light of the rising COVID cases in the country, despite the implementation of the stringent “Zero COVID” policy. IMF put across this message at a virtual meeting between IMF and several senior policy officials. The gathering conducted an annual review of China’s economic policies. In a statement, the IMF expressed its concerns over “how China’s growth has slowed since the pandemic began and remains under pressure”, addressing the deep challenges the country is facing "in the property sector and the slowing global demand." 

'Persistent gaps in vaccination have led to more frequent lockdown', says Gita Gopinath

IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath talked about how China managed to weathered the initial impact of the pandemic. She said, “Under the zero-COVID strategy, China weathered the initial impact of the pandemic well, allowing the economy to recover swiftly from the early 2020 lockdowns and to expand the global supply of medical goods and durable goods significantly at a critical time for the global economy.” 

However, Gopinathan expressed her concern over the “persistent gaps in the vaccinations”. She said, “Although the zero-COVID strategy has become nimbler over time, the combination of more contagious COVID variant and persistent gaps in vaccinations have led to the need for more frequent lockdowns, weighing on consumption and private investment including in housing.” 

China expands lockdowns as COVID cases reach an all-time high

According to AP, across China, the number of new COVID cases reported in the past 24 hours was 31,444. Amidst the chaos, the Chinese authorities are expanding lockdowns including in Zhengzhou where the factory workers clashed with the authorities on Wednesday. Business and residential communities from the manufacturing center of Guangzhou in the south to Beijing have been placed under lockdown, with various forms of stringent measures being implemented in the region. 

The measures have not only affected the lives of the people in China but also affected the International markets. The Foxconn plant which deals with the assembly of smartphones like iPhones is struggling to keep up with the demands after thousands of workers walked away from the Apple factory in Zhengzhou last month. The recent clash between the workers and authorities has made the matter even worse. 

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