Coronavirus: Italy imposes lockdown, Chinese economy bounces back into growth

8 months ago Web Desk 0

Media reports say there are strict quarantine restrictions in two northern “hotspot” regions close to Milan and Venice, in the Lombardy and Veneto regions.


Italian premier Giuseppe Conte on October 13 issued a new decree imposing stricter anti-coronavirus restrictions, including bans on private parties and early closures for bars and restaurants.


Under the new rules, private parties in closed spaces and outdoors are banned, but the measures also include “strong recommendations” against private gatherings at home with more than six people who do not live together.


The new measures came after long negotiations with the regions, as limits on private gatherings were opposed by some local governors.


Bars and restaurants will have to close at midnight, while food and drinks cannot be consumed standing outside starting at 9 p.m. Discos and nightclubs remain closed.


Contact sports are also banned, if not organized by associations, which can maintain social distancing rules.


The decree is valid for 30 days, according to Anadolu Agency.


It also includes the recently-introduced rules that make protective masks mandatory indoors and outdoors, “when in proximity to others not from the same household.”


Italy, one of the first countries in Europe to be overwhelmed by the novel virus, has also introduced changes to its quarantine rules, reducing to 10 from 14 days the minimum isolation period for people who test positive or have been in contact with COVID-19 patients.


China’s economy, which is the world’s second biggest economy, saw a sharp decline in the first three months of the year during coronavirus lockdowns. But figures released on July 16 show China’s gross domestic product (GDP) returned to growth during April to June.


The numbers are being closely watched around the world as China restarts its economy.


The figure is higher than experts were predicting and points towards a V-shaped recovery – that is, a sharp fall followed by a quick recovery, according to the BBC.


It reportedly also means China avoids going into a technical recession – signified as two consecutive periods of negative growth.


The bounce-back follows a steep 6.8% slump in the first quarter of the year, which was the biggest contraction since quarterly GDP records began.


The country’s factories and businesses were shutdown for most of this period as China introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the virus


The government has been rolling out a raft of measures to help boost the economy, including tax breaks.


The Chinese economy managed to grow more strongly than expected as it emerged from the lockdown.


All the stimulus measures announced by the authorities seem to be working – with factories getting busier, evident in growth in the industrial production data.


In May, China announced it would not set an economic growth goal for 2020 as it dealt with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.


It is the first time Beijing has not had a gross domestic product (GDP) target since 1990 when records began.


For the first six months of the year, China’s economy fell 1.6%, its National Bureau of Statistics said.


China’s economy, however, grew 3.2% in the second quarter following a record slump.


China authorities said on Monday (October 19) that country’s economy grew nearly 5.0 percent in July-September.


Source: Asia Plus