BEIJING ( Associated Press) — Teams of workers in white protective suits entered the homes of people infected with the coronavirus to spray disinfectant as Shanghai tries to eradicate an outbreak of the omicron variant under China’s strict “zero COVID” policy.
Jin Chen, a municipal official, said Tuesday that in older communities, which have shared bathrooms and kitchens, the homes of everyone using those facilities will be disinfected. He tried to address public concerns about damage to clothing and valuables, noting that residents can tell the teams about anything that needs protection.
Shanghai also suspended the service of the last two subway lines that were still in operation on Tuesday and it is the first time that the entire network of the city has been closed, according to The Paper, an online media.
The latest measures come as the city has again ordered residents in some districts to go into lockdown after letting some out for limited shopping in recent weeks. This has further frustrated residents, who had hoped that, after more than a month, restrictions would ease as the number of positives in the city drops.
Most of the metropolis of 25 million people seems confined to their apartments or residential complexes, although there has been some relaxation in suburban areas with no new community cases. An Associated Press video recorded on Monday showed an empty and silent city, with only one car on the street and a few food delivery men on motorcycles.
The daily number of cases in the city dipped to around 3,000 on Monday, from a peak of 26,000 in mid-April. Authorities have kept most of the city in isolation as they try to slow the spread of the virus, though restrictions are being eased in many other parts of the world to try to live with the virus. China’s largest city also reported six new deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths from the outbreak to 553.
The country’s capital, Beijing, began another three-day round of mass virus testing for millions of residents on Tuesday in an attempt to prevent an active outbreak from reaching the magnitude of the one in Shanghai. The city, which registered 74 new cases on Monday, has isolated buildings and residential complexes, closed some 60 subway stations and banned eating in restaurants, which can only offer takeout and delivery.
Si Chen in Shanghai and Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.