The coronavirus sweeping across China is causing widespread business disruption as staffing shortages threaten to close down factory production lines and truck drivers fall ill, bringing chaos to supply chains.
The Omicron variant of the virus has begun to run rampant through several big cities since the sudden U-turn on president Xi Jinping’s former zero-Covid policy of containment earlier this month. The surge in infections is largest in the capital Beijing, where more than half the 22mn population is infected, according to some estimates.
Many office workers have begun to work from home but some factories are becoming thinly staffed as workers call in sick. Business owners and executives said this was causing increasing disruption to production and supply chains.