Volunteers and government workers in Shanghai erected metal barriers in several districts to block off small streets and entrances to apartment complexes, as China continues its strict “zero-COVID” approach in its largest city, despite growing complaints from residents. hardens.
According to Chinese business media outlet Caixin, in Pudong, the city’s financial district, barriers – thin metal sheets or lattice fences – were erected in several neighborhoods under local government directives. Main entrances to buildings where cases were found have been sealed, with a small opening for pandemic prevention workers to pass through.
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In Beijing, officials announced mass testing from Monday in Chaoyang district, where more than three million people live in the Chinese capital.
The announcement wiped out grocery shelves on Sunday evening with vegetables, eggs, soy sauce and other items.
State broadcaster CGTN reported that a fresh outbreak infected at least 41 people, including 26 in Chaoyang district.
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China on Sunday reported 21,796 new community-transmitted COVID-19 infections, most of them asymptomatic cases in Shanghai. Across the country, many cities and provinces have implemented some version of lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
The latest outbreak, driven by the highly contagious Omron variant, has spread across the country, but has been particularly large in Shanghai. A financial hub with 25 million residents, the city has counted hundreds of thousands of cases but fewer than 100 deaths since the outbreak began nearly two months ago.
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An Associated Press examination of the death toll found that despite a history of narrow criteria for linking deaths specifically to COVID-19, officials have changed how they count positive cases, making them the last How do you reach the death count? , The result is almost certainly an underestimate of the actual mortality rate.
On social media, people posted videos of the new restrictions being imposed on Saturday, with some expressing anger at the measures. Caixin explained that the barriers are meant for unblocking main roads.
In a video verified by Associated Press, residents leaving a building in Shanghai’s Xuhui district broke down a lattice fence at its front entrance and went looking for the security guard they believed to be responsible for putting it up.
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Shanghai is using a tier system in which neighborhoods are divided into three categories based on the risk of transmission. Those in the first category face the strictest COVID-19 controls and were the main target of the new increased measures. In the third category, some buildings allow people to leave their homes and go to public areas.
In Shanghai, authorities reported 39 new COVID-19 deaths, raising the official death toll to 4,725 by the end of Saturday, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.
The city’s lockdown has attracted global attention for its strict approach and sometimes dangerous consequences. Many residents of the city have had difficulty obtaining groceries, bartering and resorting to wholesale shopping. Others are not getting adequate medical facilities on time due to strict control on movement.
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On Friday, Chinese internet users shared a six-minute video titled “Voice of April”, which documents some of the most challenging public moments the city has experienced in the nearly month-long lockdown. One section contains audio of residents of a Shanghai community who protested on April 8, shouting: “Send us food! Send us food! Send us food!” in unison.
The video shortened WeChat’s timeline before being abruptly removed by censors on Saturday.
Chinese officials continue to say that a “zero-Covid” strategy is the best approach given the low vaccination rate among people over the age of 60, and that Omicron could result in many if the country ends its stricter approach. Deaths and serious illnesses can occur.
Associated Press journalist Penny Wang in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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