Guangdong added one related case yesterday, in Foshan. Seven cases were discharged. Among the 73 cases still in hospital (42 imported), 15 were light, 53 normal, and 5 severe. (Data: Guangdong Health Commission)
Hong Kong reported four new cases, as the government extended social-distancing rules for another two weeks. Twenty patients were discharged in the past 24 hours, with 372 still in hospital, according to the Centre for Health Protection. Here is a Covid-19 tracker, which lists all currently hospitalized cases, with travel history.
Across the rest of the country, 4 new imported cases were reported, according to the National Health Commission. There were 7 local cases, 6 of which were in Heilongjiang, and one in Guangdong. Asymptomatic cases slightly increased to 992, as 32 were released from monitoring and 3 new cases were reported.
- A new study by one of China’s top scientists, the one who first suggested Wuhan be locked down at the start of the outbreak, has found the ability of the new coronavirus to mutate has been vastly underestimated, and different strains may account for different impacts of the disease in various parts of the world. According to the study, by Professor Li Lanjuan and colleagues from Zhejiang University, many new mutations discovered by the study included changes so rare that scientists had never considered they might occur. They also confirmed for the first time with laboratory evidence that certain mutations could create strains deadlier than others, which could affect how severely the virus caused disease or damage in its host. SCMP.
- Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, has announced a two-week extension of the temporary ban on some businesses in the city opening, as well as on public gatherings of more than four people. Bars, pubs, beauty salons, massage parlours and karaoke lounges are among those that must now remain shut until May 7, at the earliest. “This is not the time to be complacent. If we relax, the good work that we have done will be in vain,” she said. SCMP.
- The central government has said it would make another early allocation of 2020 special-purpose bond (SPB) quotas worth 1 trillion yuan to local governments. This will be in addition to the 1.29 trillion yuan of such debt in two tranches previously approved. Caixin.
- A recent surge of housing prices in Shenzhen has raised red flags for regulators who have started a probe into whether relief loans to small and micro businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic flowed into the property market. New home prices in Shenzhen rose 0.5% in March from the previous month, and secondary market prices grew by 1.6% on a monthly basis, three times the national average among the biggest cities, data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows. Caixin.
- A recent survey jointly conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 70% of American companies in China currently have no plans to move their supply chains or procurement activities outside China and are now focused on risk management. Around 24% said they plan to shift their procurement and 12% said they plan to shift production activities. Caixin.