The Associated Press
BEIJING – Authorities in Shanghai have again tightened anti-virus restrictions, just as the city was emerging from a month of strict lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Notices issued in several districts said residents were ordered to stay home and barred from receiving non-urgent deliveries as part of a “quiet period” lasting at least Wednesday. The notice said that the stringent measures can be increased based on the results of mass testing.
“Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Together we can lift the lockdown at the earliest,” said a notice issued in the city’s Huangpu district and posted online.
It was not clear what is the reason for the renewed tightening with the decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the city.
Shanghai on Monday reported 3,947 cases in the past 24 hours, almost all of them without symptoms, as well as 11 deaths. Officials are gradually lifting isolation rules on the city’s 25 million residents, but the new orders trace back to the early stages of the outbreak.
Shanghai originally ordered mass testing with a limited lockdown, but increased it as case numbers rose. Thousands of residents have been forced into centralized quarantine centers for showing positive test results or for being in contact with only one infected person.
Two residents of Shanghai, reached via social media, said they had no prior notice of the new restrictions, which they were told could last up to a week.
“We are not ready,” said Zhang Chen, a researcher at a technology company. “I packed my belongings thinking that it would be my next turn” to be taken to a quarantine facility.
“I don’t know what will happen in May, but after the lockdown, I think I will need psychological help,” Zhang said.
A marketing professional in the western Pudong district said the quality of life is declining, even as the cost of living under the lockdown is rising.
“Every time, they say the lockdown will be relaxed after a few days, but it seems there is no end,” said the woman, who asked that she be identified only by her surname Lu, so that the authorities’ results can be saved. heavy on disagreement
“All aspects of the work are affected. I don’t know when the time will come for the lockdown to end,” Lu said.
In Beijing, authorities sealed off the city’s largest district, with residents told to stay home and stores closed. Beijing has ordered daily tests of all residents, closed parks and other leisure spots, and limited restaurants only to go out of business.
The usually bustling Sanlitun area was packed with restaurants, boutiques and an Apple Store, but everything was deserted. Despite this, the retired Yang Xiaochang said Beijing is far better prepared to face the boom than its southern cousin.
“Even if there was some panic in the beginning… Beijing will not be like that,” Yang said, referring to Shanghai.
Still, companies and investors worry about the ruling Communist Party’s “zero-Covid” strategy that has closed most businesses in Shanghai and other industrial centers, disrupting global trade and activity in auto, electronics and other industries. Is.
China’s export growth fell in April as global demand weakened, adding pressure to the world’s second-largest economy.
Exports rose 3.7% to $273.6 billion from a year earlier, sharply lower than March’s 15.7% growth, customs data showed on Monday. Reflecting weak Chinese demand, imports rose 0.7% to $222.5 billion, in line with last month’s growth of below 1%.