Shanghai asks residents not to leave city due to Covid-19 outbreaks

Beijing, Mar 13 (EFE).- The authorities of the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai on Sunday asked its residents not to leave the city “if it’s not necessary” in order to contain Covid-19 outbreaks amid surging cases across the country.

The city, which has recorded more than 400 infections in recent days, reported 60 asymptomatic cases and one confirmed case on Sunday.

This has led the authorities to ask residents not to leave the city and have negative nucleic acid test results from within 48 hours prior to departure if they do.

The city’s long-distance bus station also suspended its operations from Sunday while kindergartens and schools have been closed and a quasi-lockdown has been imposed at Fudan University, state-run newspaper Global Times reported on Sunday.

China is battling a new wave linked to the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

According to the latest count published by health authorities on Sunday, 1,938 new infections and another 1,455 asymptomatic cases were detected on Saturday.

Beijing does not count asymptomatic infections as confirmed cases unless they show symptoms.

The total number of active infections in mainland China stands at 5,461, six of whom are serious, according to the latest count.

Selective lockdowns have become widespread in cities including Shenzhen, where, in addition to restrictions on movement, thousands of nucleic acid tests are being carried out to trace the virus and prevent large-scale infections.

However, most of the cases during this latest wave have been registered in the northeast Jilin province, where 1,412 infections were recorded on Sunday. Its provincial capital, Changchun, with a population of nine million, is under complete lockdown.

The Jilin provincial government cited flaws in the Covid response mechanism to explain the drastic increase in infections, which has also led to the resignation of at least three senior local officials.

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, who is at the forefront of the country’s Covid prevention and control efforts, called the surge “severe and complicated,” and urged local health authorities to do everything possible to contain the transmission of the virus.

At a press conference after the conclusion of the Chinese legislature’s annual session on Friday, Premier Li Keqiang declined to clarify whether China plans to ease the strict Covid-19 measures that have kept the country practically closed to the world for two years and stressed the need to continue researching the virus, vaccines and medicines. EFE


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