Just about one month before the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress, the Chinese regime tightens Covid curbs on tens of millions of residents across the country, disrupting their daily lives. 

In Beijing, the capital city where the Congress will take place, travel restrictions have already been imposed tightly. Residents who have visited areas with a single confirmed positive case in the seven-day time frame are barred from entering the city. 

It is expected that the new restrictions will remain effective through October 31.

Health officials said on Wednesday, September 7, that residents who take public transportation must show proof of a negative COVID test result within 48 hours.

More Chinese cities strengthen their COVID-controlled measures. Last week, the megacity of Chengdu extended lockdowns to its 21 million residents, forcing them to stay at home to conduct mass COVID testing.

China’s zero-COVID policy aims to eliminate any positive cases among local communities through mass regular testing, forced quarantine, and repeated lockdowns.

According to state-run media, People Daily, at least 34 cities in China have been put under partial or full lockdown as of September 5. Cities under lockdowns include provincial capitals, ranging across the country, from the tech hub Shenzhen to Chengdu. 

According to Nomura bank’s note on September 6, the COVID restrictions have affected the lives of 291.7 million Chinese residents, accounting for 20.7% of China’s population. Nomura said that 49 Chinese cities imposed different levels of lockdowns and control measures, contributing to a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.

CCP’s 20th National Congress will take place in Beijing on October 16. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to secure his third term in office. The CCP’s new top leadership will also be revealed at the Congress.

As a result of lockdowns that disrupt economic activities, the zero COVID policy has hit China’s economy severely. Multiple sectors are in trouble with no sign of recovery, especially the real estate industry. Economists have continuously cut their growth forecast for the country’s growth. Nomura on Tuesday, September 6, lowered China’s growth for 2022 to 2.7%, much lower than Beijing’s official target of 5.5%

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