Shanghai Authorities Extend COVID Lockdown As Cases Continue To Surge
As Shanghaiers struggle with shortages of food and medicine, while workers (both blue-collar factory workers and highly remunerated bankers and traders) are forced to bed down at work for what could be a lengthy stay, local authorities have provided the first hint that the staggered Shanghai lockdown could last longer than the 9 days it was originally slated for.
Reuters reports that local authorities have begun locking down some western parts of Shanghai two days ahead of schedule as the number of new cases detected in China’s most populous city increased by one-third despite stringent measures already in place to try to stop the virus spreading. The city’s lockdown is only in its third day.
While residents in the eastern part of the city have been locked down since Monday, those in the west were previously scheduled to start their four-day lockdown on Friday. Now, they’re being told to prepare for the lockdown to begin immediately.
Several residents living in western districts on Tuesday received notice from their housing committees that they would be stopped from leaving their compounds for the next seven days.
“We will resume normal life soon, but in the next period of time we ask everyone to adhere closely to pandemic control measures, do not gather, and reduce movements,” said one housing committee notice seen by Reuters.
Meanwhile the city’s southwestern district of Minhang, home to more than 2.5 million people, said it would suspend public bus services until April 5.
It’s widely expected that locking down Shanghai could have a serious impact on China’s economic growth. According to economists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, locking down Shanghai full-scale could result in a 4% reduction in the national real gross domestic product, economists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University and other institutes estimated in mid-March.
On Wednesday, Shanghai reported a record 5,656 asymptomatic COVID cases and 326 symptomatic cases, up from 4,381 new asymptomatic cases and 96 symptomatic cases during the prior day.
Shanghai authorities said Wednesday that they had conducted 9.1 million nucleic acid tests. They also said they planned to disinfect office buildings, construction sites, wet markets and schools in a month-long campaign to try and stamp out the virus.
China’s “dynamic clearance” approach means it aims to clear all cases, and all people who test positive are sent to central quarantine centers or hospitals. Close contacts and neighbors must quarantine at home.
Many across the city have taken to social media to vent their frustrations in lockdown, posting videos and images of crowded quarantine centers and issuing cries for help for food and medical supplies, while grotesque robots bark orders at them.
Wed, 03/30/2022 – 21:20