BEIJING ( Associated Press) – The city of Shanghai is doubling down on pandemic restrictions after a brief period, frustrated residents who had hoped a more than a month-long lockdown was finally piling up the number of new cases in China’s financial hub. decreased.
According to The Paper, an online media outlet, on Tuesday, service was suspended on the last two metro lines, which were still running, for the first time that the city’s entire system was shut down.
Read more: Even as COVID cases decline, Shanghai continues lockdown
Teams in white protective suits have begun entering homes of coronavirus-infected people to spray disinfectant, raising concerns about damage to clothing and valuables among some, and a community volunteer near About to leave their keys when they are taken into quarantine – a new requirement so disinfectant workers can go in.
In some areas, people have been ordered to stay in their homes again for a “quiet period” after going out for limited shopping in recent weeks.
China’s adherence to a “zero-Covid” strategy, as many other countries ease restrictions and try to live with the virus, is incurring rising economic and human costs. Bringing outbreaks under control has forever required extreme measures because the Omicron variant spreads so easily. China’s ruling Communist Party, with a major party congress this fall, is showing no signs of backing down any time soon.
Fengxian District, a suburban area of southern Shanghai, entered a “quiet period” on Monday, with residents allowed to suspend their compounds and shut shops and supermarkets, reports Shanghai Media Group.
Workers of a supermarket stuffed celery, cooking oil and other groceries into a designated area, where delivery persons picked them up. The manager, Xie Yu, said the store is also trying to restore goods in high demand. “When offline sales resume, customers will be able to buy what they need immediately,” he said.
It’s impossible to escape Shanghai, but that doesn’t stop an informal how-to guide – detailing how to navigate lockdown controls and grab a seat on some trains and planes leaving the city – from being widely circulated on social media. from. Many in the city of 25 million people shared their disappointment over the new restrictions in chat groups.
The daily number of new cases in Shanghai had fallen to nearly 3,000 by Monday, down from a peak of 26,000 in mid-April. Six more COVID-19-related deaths were reported, raising the toll from the outbreak to 553.
Meanwhile, Beijing began another round of three-day mass testing for millions of its residents on Tuesday in a bid to contain an outbreak out of proportion in the country’s capital, Shanghai. The city, which reported 74 new cases on Monday, shuttered individual buildings and residential complexes, closed nearly 60 metro stations and banned food in restaurants, allowing only takeout and delivery.
Its outbreak has not broken out, but it has not stopped spreading. Beijing spokesman Xu Hejian on Tuesday described the situation as a “stalemate” and said the city needed to continue with its tough measures.
While traffic is sparse in Beijing, it is almost non-existent in Shanghai, where lockdowns have been in place for a long time and the city is in full swing. An Associated Press video shot on Monday showed a silent and deserted city, with only the very occasional vehicle and a few food delivery drivers on scooters plying empty streets. Most people are confined to their apartments or residential complexes, although there has been some easing in outer suburban areas without new cases in their communities.
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But notices issued in several districts of Shanghai in recent days ordered residents to stay home and barred them from receiving non-essential deliveries as part of a “quiet period” lasting Wednesday or longer. The notice said that the measures may be increased based on the results of mass testing. The sudden re-tightening took the residents by surprise.
Shanghai official Jin Chen acknowledged complaints about people’s homes being disinfected on Tuesday, thanking them for their cooperation and said the government would analyze and resolve any problems. He said residents can inform the teams about any items that need protection.
“Doing household disinfection is an important part of overall epidemic prevention and control,” he told a daily virus news conference.
Tong Zhiwei, a constitutional law professor, recently posted an article calling for Shanghai to end what he called “excessive epidemic prevention measures”, such as quarantining residents and leaving them behind. Forcing them to surrender their house keys, saying the requirements violate the rule of law.
The article has been taken off the Internet because the government has censored criticism of its response.
Thousands of people have been forced into quarantine centers after testing positive or coming into contact with an infected person, following standard procedure in China’s zero-COVID approach.
Associated Press researchers Si Chen in Shanghai and Yu Bing in Beijing and Carolyn Chen, video producers in Guangzhou, China, contributed to this report.