Officials at the provincial, city and council levels were present at the state council’s unexpected video teleconference, according to a report in the state-owned Global Times. High-ranking Chinese officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, were also present, urging the authorities to take steps to retain jobs and reduce unemployment.
Lee said that in some respects, according to the Global Times, the economic impact seen in March and April during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak exceeded 2020. He pointed to several indicators, including the unemployment rate, lower industrial production and cargo transportation.
33 new economic systems
The teleconference comes after an executive meeting of the State Council on Monday where authorities unveiled 33 new economic measures, including increasing tax refunds, increasing loans for small businesses and providing emergency loans to the hard-hit aviation industry, state-owned news outlet Xinhua reported. .
Among the 33 policies, Kovid also simplifies a number of restrictions – such as lifting restrictions on truck movement from low-risk areas.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Lee called on government departments to implement those 33 steps by the end of May. According to Xinhua, he added, the state council will send task forces to 12 provinces from Thursday to oversee the roll-out of these policies.
Throughout the epidemic, China adheres to a strict zero-covid policy aimed at stamping out all chains of infection using border control, mandatory quarantine, mass testing and snap lockdown.
But the strategy has been challenged by the highly contagious Omicron variant, which grew across the country earlier this year despite authorities rushing to lock down district and inter-provincial boundaries.
Although a few of those cities have reopened, the impact of that disruption is still being felt, with unemployment reaching its highest level since the early coronavirus outbreak in early 2020.
There is no clear end to the crisis, with authorities still struggling to contain the spread of the virus and top leaders pushing for a zero-sum game.
On Monday, the national capital Beijing – which has seen an increase in cases over the past few weeks – placed seven districts under partial lockdown, affecting about 14 million residents. The city’s two largest districts, Chawang and Haidian, were included – forcing all unnecessary businesses to close, including shopping malls, gyms and leisure venues.