August 15, 2022

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Entire Shanghai has gone into COVID lockdown despite asymptomatic cases down

Entire Shanghai has gone into COVID lockdown despite asymptomatic cases down

  • Growing public anger over strict lockdown measures
  • Every 26 million people are closed in Shanghai
  • Increase in cases after citywide blitzkrieg

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese authorities on Tuesday extended their lockdown in Shanghai to cover all 26 million residents of the financial hub, despite growing anger over the city’s quarantine rules, with the latest results showing just 268 cases showing symptoms of COVID-19 per day. . .

In a major test of China’s zero-tolerance strategy to stamp out the novel coronavirus, the government expanded the lockdown to the eastern parts of the city and extended restrictions until further notice in western regions, which were due to end on Tuesday.

The broader shutdown came after testing saw the number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases rise to more than 13,000. Asymptomatic cases fell on Monday to 268 from 425 the day before.

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With an increasing number of members of the public sharing comments and videos via social media to express their frustration with the blanket lockdown, the authorities have shown no sign of hesitation.

“The epidemic prevention and control in Shanghai is at the most difficult and most dangerous stage,” Wu Qianyu, an official with the Municipal Health Commission, told a news briefing.

“We must adhere to the general policy of dynamic clearance without hesitation and without hesitation.”

Shanghai’s quarantine policy has been criticized for separating children from their parents and placing asymptomatic cases among those showing symptoms. Wu did not comment on the uproar over the family separation. On Monday, she insisted that children who had tested positive should be turned away.

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The Shanghai Children’s Medical Center said on its social media account that one of the temporary treatment centers had opened a 1,000-bed section to treat parents and children, but it was not clear whether the new section indicated a broader change in policy.

Shanghai residents have organized an online petition calling for asymptomatic children to be allowed to isolate at home, with at least 1,000 people signing up, but as of Tuesday, it is no longer accessible on the WeChat messaging app.

The city has set up about 47,700 beds in a number of newly built temporary hospitals in Shanghai, with another 30,000 equipped, Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua) reported, citing Gu Honghui, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government.

Gu said 62 temporary quarantine sites have been designated in hotels, stadiums and exhibition centers.

‘no one knows’

Shanghai imposed strict restrictions last week as it struggled to contain what has become the largest outbreak of COVID, following an already more targeted approach.

Shanghai recorded 13,086 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, up from 8,581 the day before, after more than 25 million people were tested in 24 hours in a citywide testing campaign, authorities said.

Thousands of residents were confined to rudimentary quarantine facilities after they tested positive, whether or not they had symptoms.

Jane Poloputko, the Ukrainian marketing director who is being held in the city’s largest quarantine center, told Reuters it was not clear when they would be released.

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“No one knows how many tests we need to get out,” she said.

Chen Erzin, the doctor in charge of a quarantine facility in Shanghai, said in an interview with the People’s Communist Party of China newspaper over the weekend that it is possible that authorities will revise the guidelines and allow asymptomatic people to stay at home, especially if the The number of cases mounted.

“The most important thing is the personal compliance problem,” he said.

Sun Chunlan, the vice premier in charge of COVID prevention, urged grassroots Communist Party organizations to “do everything possible” to help residents solve problems, such as getting medicine, food and water.

The government said nearly 80% of a total of 25.7 million swabs had been tested by Tuesday morning. Positive results are monitored at the individual level.

The proportion of asymptomatic cases is much higher in Shanghai than in the rest of the world, which is attributed to the screening process that picks up infected people before they get sick. However, experts said it did not explain the decline in symptomatic cases.

Meanwhile, costs are mounting to the world’s second-largest economy.

About 23 Chinese cities are under total or partial lockdown, affecting an estimated 193 million people in regions that account for 13.6% of its gross domestic product, brokerage firm Nomura said in a note on Tuesday.

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(Reporting by David Stanway, Brenda Goh and David Kirton). Editing by Richard Boleyn, Stephen Coates and Robert Persell

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