Beijing [China]: China on Monday reported 3,297 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, while lockdowns in cities are triggering cascading effects with Beijing staring at a national crisis.
Xinhua reported that of these new locally transmitted cases, China’s economic hub Shanghai reported 3,084 cases and 17,332 locally-transmitted asymptomatic infections.
Seven new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Monday in Shanghai.
Apart from Shanghai, 18 other provincial-level regions on the mainland saw new local COVID-19 cases, including 88 in the northeastern province of Jilin.
A total of 1,912 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on the Chinese mainland on Monday, said the Commission report, Xinhua reported.
Across China, city officials are locking down their residents, supply lines are rupturing, and officials are scrambling to secure the movement of basic goods, with its largest-ever recorded outbreak of COVID-19 threatening to spiral into a national crisis of the government’s own making.
At least 44 Chinese cities are under either a full or partial lockdown as authorities persist in trying to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, according to a report from investment bank Nomura and CNN’s report as of Thursday.
In Shanghai, the epicentre of the country’s latest outbreak, scenes once unimaginable for the hyper-modern financial capital have become part of the daily struggle for 25 million people.
There, residents forbidden to leave the confines of their apartments or housing blocks for weeks have been desperate for food and freedom — some seen in social media clips screaming out of their windows in frustration or clashing with hazmat-clad workers. Even after releasing a tentative plan Monday for the partial relaxation of measures, there appears to be no end in sight, reported CNN.
The current situation may mark the most significant challenge for the country–and, arguably, for Chinese leader Xi Jinping against zero Covid policy.
Getting supplies across the country has become a steep challenge, with some expressways closed and truck drivers ensnared in quarantine or at thousands of highway health checkpoints.
Some cities have discouraged their residents from leaving, like the major southern port of Guangzhou, which requires its 18 million people to show a negative COVID test if they want to get out. Moreover, the zero-covid policy has sparked mounting frustration and anger in Shanghai and threatens more disruption amplifying the risks for the Communist Party. (ANI)