Wednesday, November 30, 2022

shanghai announces lockdown of half the city for mass covid testing

The Shanghai government said Sunday night that the eastern part of the city – which includes about 11 million residents – would go into lockdown for four days at the start of the week, while the remaining 14 million people would begin a lockdown from Friday.

Everyone is required to participate in citywide COVID-19 screening to maintain “green” health code status that will allow them to access grocery stores and public areas.

During their respective lockdowns, people will be banned from going out, and all non-essential workers will have to work from home. Public transport, including buses, subways, ferries and taxis, will also be suspended in the lockdown areas.

According to the country’s National Health Commission, Shanghai recorded 2,678 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday alone, nearly half of all new cases reported in China that day.
China’s inability to bring its latest outbreak under control has prompted online rumblings from frustrated citizens, as questions about Beijing’s zero-Covid strategy break into the mainstream for the first time.
A delivery worker delivers food to a woman at the barriers of an area under lockdown in Shanghai on March 23, 2022.

In Shanghai – a city with some of the best infrastructure in the country – social media complaints show systems intended to ensure residents are failing as lockdowns are extended without notice.

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“How can I buy groceries? … I can’t find medicine for my kids … How can we order it online when we can’t even get an appointment at the hospital?” A social media user wrote, who said that their Shanghai neighborhood has been closed for 15 days.

Officials have said they are making “every effort” to ensure supplies are made available to residents using online platforms or using online platforms to make bulk purchases and delivery arrangements.

To tackle the rising number of cases across the city, the Shanghai government has distributed rapid antigen test kits to homes in low-risk areas, testing more than 14 million people as of Sunday. In an effort to ease the pressure on hospitals. Several indoor stadiums and exhibition centers in the city have been turned into centralized quarantine facilities for Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or present mild symptoms.

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Shanghai was reluctant to impose a city-wide lockdown before Sunday’s announcement, despite closing more residential complexes after Covid-19 cases were detected. “If Shanghai came to a complete halt, there would be many international cargo ships floating in the East China Sea,” said Wu Fan, a medical expert on the city’s epidemic task force on Saturday.

China is still reluctant to impose a complete, city-wide lockdown despite the rising number of cases – the highest since the pandemic began.

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