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No let-up in Shanghai’s lockdown as infections trend lower -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. A protective-sueded medical worker collects the swab of a resident in an emergency nucleic acid testing facility. This was during the COVID-19 outbreak that erupted in Shanghai, China, April 19, 2022. REUT

Brenda Goh and Martin Quin Pollard

SHANGHAI (Reuters). After three weeks in strict lockdown, Shanghai authorities warned Shanghai’s 25 million frazzled inhabitants that purgatory will continue until the COVID-19 disease is eradicated neighborhood by neighbourhood.

A glimmering light was offered by the city government on WeChat. It stated that there is a positive trend in infections and that things could soon get back to normal, provided that people follow strict guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

However, some Shanghai areas tightened movement restrictions and officials told people not to move from certain neighbourhoods. This was a blow to families that have been isolated for weeks.

The government stated that “Our goal” is to reach community zero COVID as quickly as possible. This refers to an objective to eradicate transmission from areas not quarantined.

“This indicates that we won the major battle against this epidemic…so we can restore normal production levels and order in our lives.”

After the emergence of infections, Shanghai had to lock up nearly all its 25 million residents in their homes. Residents are facing income loss, divorce and problems meeting their basic needs.

Officials from the health department raised hopes of a return to normal, claiming transmission was under control. However, city officials poured cold water on such optimism as Omicron is highly transmissible and has been difficult to eradicate.

Shanghai, late Thursday evening, announced “nine major” new actions. They include daily city testing starting Friday. The goal is to reduce movement of people and speed up transfers to quarantine centre.

This week, videos circulated on Chinese social media of buses of people being quarantined. Some of these were outside Shanghai.

Residents complain that issuing isolation orders in masses and randomly for speed and efficiency sakes are not taken into account. The city authorities asked residents to accept their harsh measures in order to ensure that the gains made so far are not reversed.

Zhang Chen (30), a resident, said to Reuters that her son, aged four, and grandmother, 84, were brought into quarantine by her in-laws on Sunday. She was concerned about their health because of the conditions at the facility.

She stated that the meals were lacking nutrition. For example, breakfast is only two toast slices.

“They are patient, not criminals.” But here it’s like they’re criminals, and being sent off to suffer,” Zhang said.

An immediate response was not provided by Shanghai to our request for comment.

According to the Chinese financial hub, 15,698 coronavirus local cases were reported as of today. This is down from 15,861 just a day before.

There were 1,931 new cases of symptomatic disease, down from 2,634.

The number of cases in quarantined zones fell to 250 from the previous day, which was 441 more than yesterday. The focus is on the cases located outside of quarantined areas, since these may be the first to see restrictions lifted if Shanghai adopts the same pattern as other cities currently under lockdown.

On April 21, eleven people with COVID-19 were killed in Shanghai, authorities reported. That brings the total number of victims to 36.

There are questions about the official death toll. Residents have claimed that their family members died from COVID-19 in March. However, these cases were not included in official statistics.

Questions about the death toll were not answered by Shanghai’s government.

Many businesses are reopening, but they still have to be in “closed loops,” meaning that they live on-site, undergo daily testing, and maintain strict disinfection.

Beijing released a list last week of 666 Shanghai businesses that had been prioritized for reopening or keeping operations open. On Friday, the Shanghai government announced that 403. These were doing so as per April 20, with U.S.-based automaker Tesla (NASDAQ :).

Economists warn that factories are not able to resume full production due to reduced trucking availability and fractured supply chains.