Shanghai Covid transmission chain ‘cut in all 16 districts’: authorities

Shanghai, China, May 17 (EFE).- Authorities of the eastern Chinese metropolis of Shanghai announced on Tuesday that, after more than a month and a half – in some areas, more than two months – of strict lockdowns, it has managed to cut the chain of community Covid-19 transmission in all of its 16 districts.

The deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, Zhao Dandan, assured at a press conference that all the city’s districts have entered the phase called “zero social transmission,” reported state news agency Xinhua.

This term refers to a situation in which, for three consecutive days, less than one case is detected among every 100,000 residents of “precautionary” and “controlled” areas, as well as in those that have already been unconfined.

The “controlled” areas of the city are those developments in which residents can move around common areas, while in the “precautionary” areas, residents can leave the complex but not the district limits.

The strategy applied in Shanghai has been to intern positive cases – symptomatic or asymptomatic – in confinement centers to separate them from the rest of society, and also to isolate their close contacts.

According to data released Tuesday by Zhao, of the nearly 25 million inhabitants of the city, only 3.5 percent are in the more than 4,000 areas that are still confined. On the other hand, 12 percent are in “controlled” zones, and 78 percent in “precautionary” areas.

Despite the fact that these latest urbanizations bring together the vast majority of the population of the megalopolis, in many of them it is still impossible to leave the complexes due to the decision of the neighborhood committees, the bodies that govern the urbanizations.

In recent days, the authorities have been unveiling their deconfinement plans amid the drop in the number of infections, which on Tuesday stood at 823 new cases (91 percent asymptomatic), well below the peak of almost 28,000 registered a little over a month ago.

Until May 21, the authorities will focus on consolidating the control of infections, giving way to a “transition” back to the usual prevention measures that will last until the end of the month, a period in which municipal operations such as public transport will be resumed gradually.

From June 1, Shanghai plans to enter a stage of “normalized management” that lays the foundations for resuming a “normal order of production and life in the city” before the end of the month.

Since the end of February, Shanghai has registered more than 57,000 confirmed cases – that is, symptomatic, since asymptomatic cases do not get added to the official count – and a total of 576 deaths.

The outbreak, caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant, is the worst experienced in China’s financial capital since the start of the pandemic. EFE


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