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FirstFT: China braces for more lockdowns

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China is at risk of more frequent lockdowns and mass testing as officials struggle to contain the spread of the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant despite the damage pandemic restrictions have already wrought on the world’s second-biggest economy.

Forty-one Chinese cities are under full or partial lockdowns or district-based controls, covering 264mn people in regions that account for about 18.7 per cent of the country’s economic activity, according to an analysis released on Monday by Japanese investment bank Nomura.

That marked a deterioration from the situation a week ago, when curbs were imposed in 31 cities covering 247.5mn people and representing 17.5 per cent of the economy.

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