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As Wuhan reopens, China revs engine to move past coronavirus. But it’s stuck in second gear.

edited April 1 in The OT Bullpen
Looking ahead we will need to figure out how quickly the global economy can recover from the pandemic. This is a second inning report. It sounds like it may be a long slog....
“I’ve been indoors for 70 days. Today is the first time that I came outside,” one woman who ventured into a mall this week told local television. “I feel as if I have been separated from the outside world for ages.”

China’s leaders say the country has largely won the battle against its outbreak, reporting each day that domestic transmissions are negligible or nonexistent....But winning the war is proving to be a tougher proposition. That involves not only preventing a second wave of coronavirus infections but also restarting the economy. It’s becoming increasingly clear that officials cannot achieve both things at once.

In the malls that opened this week, people must stand five feet apart on escalators, and clothes that customers have tried on must be sprayed with disinfectant. Subway passengers must wear masks and sit two seats apart; footage on state media showed near-deserted cars and stations.

“They’re trying to turn the industrial engines back on as quickly as they can,” said Ryan Hass, a China expert at the Brookings Institution. “But it’s a bit of a challenge because 60 percent of the Chinese economy is the service sector."

“In a world without demand, rushing into production will create excess capacity and push prices down,” Herrero said. “So Chinese leaders could say they’re going slow for sanitary reasons, but really it’s because they can’t sell their stuff to anyone.”
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