hit on China’s GDP; 1 million cases in the UK in a week

The Chinese economy is facing the worst downward pressure Since the spring of 2020, when it was affected by the first wave of Covid-19, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.

Economists at Nomura said economic activities “could deteriorate significantly across the board” in March, weighed down by mounting restrictions on movement across the country and a continuing slack in the real estate sector. With the outbreak suppressing a wide range of sectors, including personal services, construction and some manufacturing activities, They noted that it is “increasingly difficult for Beijing to achieve a GDP growth target of ‘about 5.5%’ by 2022.”

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The number of people infected with Covid-19 in the UK has risen by nearly a third in a week, just as the government is preparing to end free testing for the virus for most people. About 4.25 million people currently have the disease, Nearly a million more than last week, according to an estimate by the Office for National Statistics.

Hong Kong cases are lowest in a month (5 p.m. HK time)

Hong Kong reported 8,841 new cases of Covid, down below 10,000 for the first time since February 24. infection decreased from more than 50,000 earlier in the month, as the city battled its fifth wave.

Shanghai resists blockade, suspending sale of some train tickets (5pm HKST)

Shanghai health authorities have once again resisted the city’s lockdown, saying it would affect the national economy.

“If Shanghai stops, there will be more international cargo ships floating in the East China Sea, which will affect the economy of the entire country and the world.”Wu Fan, a member of the Shanghai Covid-19 expert team, said at a press conference on Saturday.

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Separately, the country’s railway operator has halted the sale of passenger tickets for trips starting on April 8 to “improve and modify” the train’s route map. The operator said it expects sales to resume from April 2.

Nomura says China is facing the worst slowdown since the epidemic (2:30 pm HKST)

The Chinese economy is facing its worst downward pressure since the spring of 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 hit it, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. , the economists wrote in a note on Saturday.

The investment bank lowered its estimate of China’s growth for the months from April to December, citing a worsening Covid-19 situation. Production activities in the country’s manufacturing and technology hub Shenzhen and Automobile City Changchun have been disrupted by anti-virus measures, while residents of Shanghai, the financial hub, have been asked to stay home while the city conducts massive rounds of testing.

Hong Kong has no plans to relax the flight suspension ruling (12:20 pm HK)

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Hong Kong government was not considering any “significant concessions” regarding its flight suspension policies. Briefly on Saturday. Currently, there are three or more infections on the same flight, or one confirmed and one non-matching case on the same plane, which imposes a two-week ban.

Authorities are reviewing various activation thresholds to halt flights, according to the chief executive.

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Lam also said the government was “making good progress” in getting closer to more hotels to use the quarantine. He said there are currently 25 quarantine hotels with 6,000 rooms, which are almost full.

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Lam said the government will continue to focus on increasing the vaccination rate in nursing homes, where only 56% of the population has been vaccinated for the first time. On Sunday, he added, he will provide more information about the government’s plan to increase the vaccination rate..

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