Beijing [China]: China’s extreme COVID-19 testing policies are projected to give a blow to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by about 1.5 per cent, said media reports.
China has ramped up its testing with the country now requiring nucleic acid tests done within the past 48 hours just to enter public spaces, offices and even schools. However, it is estimated that the testing could cost some 1.7 trillion yuan a year in China’s major cities alone, or about 1.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Moreover, the emotional toll of China’s Zero-COVID strategy has also taken a toll on the Chinese people. This emotional toll has outweighed everything else. But it is interesting to note that China is still insisting that these stern policies are the only way to go, reported Straits Times.
The world is now more than two years into the COVID pandemic and with this China’s Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, quarantines and flash lockdowns have almost become a part of “normal” life.
In addition to this, Beijing last week announced that it will withdraw the provincial funding for Covid-19 testing and treatment. If it is to be true, then who exactly will foot the bill for the slew of measures, and at what cost, stated the media portal.
Earlier, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also painted a grim picture of the job market in the world’s most populous nation due to widespread COVID-19 lockdowns.
The No 2 in the hierarchy of China’s ruling Communist Party — called the employment situation “complex and grave.” In a statement, he had instructed all levels of government to prioritize measures to boost jobs and maintain stability.
These measures include helping small businesses survive, supporting the internet economy, providing incentives to encourage people to start their own businesses, and giving unemployment benefits to laid-off workers.
“Stabilizing employment is critical to people’s livelihood, and is the key support for the economy to run within a reasonable range,” Li said.
His remarks come at a time when the jobless rate in the country has climbed to the highest rate in almost two years, according to data from the government.
Each year, China needs to add millions of new jobs to keep the economy humming. (ANI)