A sharp uptick in coronavirus cases in India and several Asian countries is diverting business to China, ensuring that its manufacturing engine will continue being the main driver of global trade demand, analysts said, pointing to the resilience of China’s economy and capital flows.
Last year, the Asia-Pacific region outperformed amid its significantly lower infection and death rates relative to other regions. However, several domestic economic recoveries are being threatened by a combination of the emergence of more virulent strains globally, recurring waves of Covid-19 and sluggish progress in public vaccinations, according to analysts.
Of particular note is India, which has seen daily Covid-19 cases surge to unprecedented levels, making it the second-worst-hit country based on total infections. The health crisis has put the medical system under heavy pressure in many large cities, with severe shortages in medical oxygen, blood plasma, key drugs and hospital beds. A number of Indian states have responded by imposing stringent local restrictions, varying from night curfews to weekend lockdowns.
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