Beijing [China], April 8: China’s financial hub, Shanghai, has been facing the worst COVID-19 outbreak and desperately seeks medical care and basic supplies like food.
Shanghai authorities have imposed draconian lockdown measures since March that have locked 25 million residents in their homes with Chinese military and national health care workers. And parents are forcibly separated from their young children, who were infected with COVID-19. These circumstances are making people furious against the government, CNN reported.
“We are not killed by Covid, but by the Covid control measures,” one popular comment on the highly censored Chinese social media platform Weibo was quoted as saying by CNN.
On Wednesday, the country filed close to 20,000 new Covid cases, crossing the peak of new Covid cases, which was recorded in Wuhan in 2020, at the onset of the pandemic.
According to the National Health Commission, the virus had spread to 29 of China’s 31 provinces by the end of March.
On April 1, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said China would “continue to focus on dynamic zero-Covid policy,” according to CNN, citing Global Times.
He further said that loosening the restrictions and opening borders could create many problems such as (a squeeze on) medical resources and rising fatalities.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier People’s Republic of China, said that the city needed “a more determined attitude, more powerful actions, and more efficient coordination” to achieve zero-Covid, according to CNN.
On April 3, the Chinese government announced the deployment of thousands of military personnel to Shanghai to assist in the mandatory testing of all 25 million residents for the virus that causes Covid-19. On April 4, Shanghai authorities said the city would indefinitely remain under lockdown – meaning that residents are not allowed to leave their homes, as it reviews the results of the mass Covid testing.
Numerous netizens took to Chinese social media to share stories of their or their loved ones being denied access to medical care for non-Covid related illnesses either due to hospitals being closed because of Covid-restrictions or the lack of health care workers because they were quarantined or got diverted to administer Covid tests.
So far, Shanghai authorities defended the policy, stating that anyone found positive – regardless of age – must be isolated from non-infected people and that a parent can only be quarantined with their child if both are infected.
China’s much-publicised ‘zero-covid’ strategy that the government credited for bringing the country out of the pandemic till recently is falling apart as the rapidly mounting cases are again forcing mass lockdowns like those seen in 2020. (ANI)