Shanghai to enter lockdown, one half at a time, for mass testing

FILE PHOTO: Flickr/John Pasden

The authorities in Shanghai plan to lock down the city of 25 million residents, one half at a time, in order to conduct mass Covid-19 testing. Officials are trying to curb the spread of the virus, with China facing its worst wave since the pandemic was first reported in the central city of Wuhan.

According to a Bloomberg report, the 4-day lockdown starts today, in neighbourhoods east of the Huangpu River, including the financial district and industrial parks. After that, the areas west of the river will be locked down for 4 days. During the lockdowns, residents will be unable to leave their homes and public transport and car-hailing services will be suspended. A local government statement says private vehicles will be banned from the roads, unless essential, confirming that residents’ emergency medical needs will be protected.

Shanghai has seen a spike in cases in recent days, despite repeated testing across the city. On Saturday, 2,676 new infections were reported, an increase of 18% compared to the day before, with Shanghai overtaking the north-eastern city of Jilin as China’s Covid-19 hotspot.

While much of the rest of the world adjusts its pandemic strategy to live with the virus, China is dogged in its pursuit of the so-called zero-Covid status. However, this appears to have become more challenging in the grip of the highly-contagious Omicron variant.

According to the Bloomberg report, Shanghai was trying to steer clear of full lockdowns in order to avoid causing disruption to the city’s businesses. However, as Omicron spreads rapidly across the city, officials have adjusted their approach. Earlier this month, the authorities shut down schools and suspended interprovincial bus services as infections started to rise.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

Shanghai to enter lockdown, one half at a time, for mass testing | News by Thaiger

China News

Maya Taylor

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