Setback for Shanghai’s COVID battle; Beijing focus on mass testing -Breaking
© Reuters. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), a worker in Shanghai is being tested for COVID-19 on the street. REUTERS/Aly Song
Brenda Goh and Sophie Yu
SHANGHAI/BEIJING – China’s commercial capital Shanghai was hit hard Monday by 58 additional COVID-19 patients outside of quarantine zones. Meanwhile, Beijing continues to conduct mass testing of millions of its citizens on a May Day holiday that few people were aware of.
The harsh coronavirus measures taken in Shanghai caused rare anger. Millions of Shanghai’s 25,000,000 inhabitants were kept indoors for over a month. Some were confined inside residential properties, while others had to be secured. Many are struggling to get their daily needs met.
Shanghai residents breathed relief on the news that no case had been reported outside the quarantine area for 2 days. But, the bad news was Monday’s report about the 58 new infections.
Although the police did not make any comments at a press conference, members of public were able to weigh in on the cases online.
On the Weibo social media platform (NASDAQ:), one commentator said that “they announced that they stampede out cases at community level too soon.”
People also found encouragement in data which showed a positive trend, with 32 additional deaths Sunday, compared with 38 the day before, and 6,606 new cases of asymptomatic illness, down from 7,084 on Monday.
Another Weibo user said, “There’s hope for May.”
In late 2019, the coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China. For two years, authorities were able to control the outbreaks with travel bans and lockdowns.
However, the Omicron-based variant is rapidly spreading and has tested China’s zero-COVID policy. It was important for President Xi Jinping to ensure a third precendent-breaking term.
NEW FOCUS ON BEIJING
China’s COVID policy is becoming increasingly absurd to the rest of the world. Many countries have relaxed or eliminated restrictions in an attempt to live with COVID, even though there are many new infections.
China is not showing any signs of compromising its policies despite the mounting economic toll on China’s second largest economy and ripples of disruption spreading through global supply chains.
Authorities tighten COVID regulations in the capital home to 22million people over five-day Labour Day holiday which runs through Wednesday. This is traditionally the busiest season for tourists.
Beijing is experiencing dozens of infections daily in an epidemic that has now entered two weeks. Beijing relies on mass testing for the isolation and detection of infections, but not yet secured its position.
Beijing has many restaurants that are not open for diners, and several apartment blocks have been sealed off. Residents who venture outside are required to pass a negative coronavirus test to gain entry to most public places.
Authorities have begun to track down people who are close to confirmed cases. They advise them to remain at home, contact authorities and to adhere to lockdown rules.
China has reported 7822 COVID-19 new cases Sunday, a decrease of 8,329 cases the day before, according to the National Health Commission.
China has now seen 32 deaths in Shanghai since the outbreak of the virus. This brings the total number of death from the virus to 5,092.
India is the country that has recorded the most deaths of its population, but some experts think it may be even more.