(Bloomberg) -- China’s Hainan started mass Covid-19 testing from Sunday and imposed more lockdowns as infections rise in the southern island province.
Hainan reported 182 local infections as of noon Sunday, boosting the total to more than 1,100 this month, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing a briefing by the local government. That follows 483 infections on Saturday. Authorities are also imposing restrictions in other areas, including the lockdown of the southeastern city of Wanning, according to the news report.
The virus outbreak has swept across Hainan, stranding tourists and disrupting holiday plans for thousands of people at one of China’s most popular summer destinations. The beach resort city of Sanya was locked down on Saturday after virus cases climbed, with civil aviation information website news.carnoc.com reporting almost 80% of flights out of the city had been canceled by 1 p.m.
Authorities will impose “static management” for Wanning from 1 p.m. Sunday, CCTV reported. The term is commonly used when referring to lockdowns. “Static management” will also be imposed in Qionghai city, with dine-in services along with entertainment venues such as cinemas suspended, according to a separate CCTV report.
Baisha, an ethnic county in Hainan, required all visitors to have a negative test result within the past 48 hours, according to the state broadcaster.
Despite the flare-up in Hainan, China has shortened the length of suspensions for inbound airline flights that carry passengers infected with Covid. Authorities changed the so-called circuit-breaker mechanism for airline bans, cutting to one week the period that incoming flights will be suspended if they carry five Covid-positive passengers, or 4% of the total, according to a statement posted on website of Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Overall, China reported 736 local cases for Saturday with no new infections in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the National Health Commission said in a statement Sunday. Beijing reported two local cases as of 3 p.m. Sunday, CCTV reported.
China’s economy continued to rebound in July, with its trade surplus rising to a record as exports climbed faster than expected. Still, the recovery remained fragile, weighed down by sporadic virus outbreaks, a slowdown in the property sector and still-weak domestic demand.
At a Politburo meeting last month, authorities said the country should strive for “the best outcome” possible for economic growth in 2022. In the same week as the meeting, China’s top leaders told government officials that this years growth target should serve as guidance rather than a hard target that must be hit, according to people familiar with the matter.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.