Shanghai to impose temporary lockdowns as Covid-19 cases surge


Shanghai will impose confinements by sectors with the aim of reducing the Covid-19 contagion curve that is once again hitting China due to variant Omicroninformed the authorities of the largest city in the country this Sunday.

As of Monday, March 28, the eastern half of the city will be confined for five days to test its population and as of April 1, the western part will do so.

This metropolis of 25 million inhabitants has become in recent days the epicenter of a new wave of infections throughout Chinawhich began to accelerate in early March.

Until the last moment, the local authorities tried to avoid a total confinement, considering it imperative to keep both the port and the financial center open so as not to damage the national and international economy.

If the port were closed “it would have an impact on the entire national economy and the world economy,” said Wu Fan, a medical expert with the city’s pandemic task force.

But given the rebound in cases, the authorities explained on Sunday that they had decided on this measure “to stop the spread of the epidemic, guarantee the safety and good health of the inhabitants” and isolate “as soon as possible” the cases of contagion.

Pudong and then Puxi

The eastern part of the city, pu-dongbordered first, includes the international airport and the financial district of the metropolis.

In the western part, Puxi, confined from April 1, is the famous historical artery of the Bund, on the banks of the Huangpu River, which runs through the city.

Authorities have urged residents to stay home and have asked all public and private sector employees not working in essential services to do the same.

The exceptions refer to hospital staff, carriers, and those who work in the supply of electricity, gas or food products.

Photo: Reuters

Buses, taxis and the subway will stop working, but at the moment it is not known what will happen to port activities or the impact of the measure on trains or planes serving Shanghai.

The State Health Commission announced on Sunday 4,500 new infections at the state level, more than a thousand cases less than in previous days but much higher than the figures of the last two years.

Shanghai and Jilin are currently the regions most affected by the epidemic.

Chinese authorities are also nervous about how the wave of Omicron in Hong Kong it has claimed a large toll among the unvaccinated elderly.

Its subsequent spread in China mainland has posed a dilemma for the authorities, who are wondering how strongly they should respond.

Although much lower than in other countries, the current number of infections is one of the highest in China since the start of the pandemic in Wuhan at the end of 2019.

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