Shanghai [China]: The COVID-19 death toll continues to rise in China’s economic hub of Shanghai even as strict lockdown measures wreak havoc in the daily lives of ordinary people.
After an abrupt rise in COVID-19 cases in Shanghai in March, Shanghai authorities sealed off the entire metropolis at the beginning of April.
The government initially billed it as a four-day “temporary pause” — claiming they would promptly test the entire population, isolate positive cases and then re-open the city. As a result, many residents never bothered to stock up on supplies, CNN reported.
With tens of thousands of new infections reported daily, the government has continued to extend the lockdown — ordering any residential community with a single new positive case to be sealed for an additional 14 days.
Meanwhile, the city recorded a death toll of 12 from COVID-19 infections on Friday, taking the overall figure to over 40 deaths in the past few weeks.
China enforces a strict “zero COVID” policy which requires the spread of COVID in any area to be totally contained in order to lift restrictions.
Officials have made it clear the policy has the personal stamp of approval from the country’s strongman leader, Xi Jinping, who is yet to visit Shanghai — a city he once led — amid the deepening crisis, CNN further reported. Xi is expected to assume an almost unprecedented third term later this year, paving the way for him to rule for life.
Jorg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, estimates China has lost about 50 per cent of all European expatriates since the pandemic started — and he warns there could be another exodus of families this summer when the school year ends.
On Friday, Shanghai authorities said the city entered a “decisive battle” to stamp out coronavirus infections within communities, according to Global Times.
Officials said the lockdown would be lifted in batches when virus transmissions outside quarantined areas are eliminated. A new round of testing has also been announced, specifically categorized for different districts. (ANI)