Shanghai to remain under lockdown until covid is eradicated

Beijing, Apr 22 (EFE).- Authorities in Shanghai Friday said Covid-19 restrictions would remain until the virus is wiped out from the eastern Chinese city, a day after it claimed 11 more lives.

The city authorities said the nucleic acid testing drive would be scaled up, and mobility restricted as the city entered a “critical phase” in its fight against the outbreak, sparked by the highly-contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Shanghai added 11 new deaths Thursday, raising the toll to 36 in the last five days, local media reported on Friday.

The city detected 17,629 symptomatic and asymptomatic infections over the past day, indicating a 4.7 percent decrease compared to a day ago.

However, the number of deaths grew compared to previous days.

The authorities said health officials would ramp up the testing drive and double down on quarantine measures in residential compounds.

“Shanghai’s battle against Covid-19 has entered a key phase of stamping out viral infections within residential communities,” Global Times quoted the Shanghai authority as saying.

The Times reported that officials said the “lockdown would be lifted in batches when virus transmissions outside quarantined areas are eliminated.”

The movement of health workers and delivery men would be restricted to minimize infections between different communities.

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, sent by the central government to Shanghai, called on local authorities “not to rest” until they trace, isolate, and treat all those residents who test positive for in the city of 25 million people.

The deputy prime minister urged local officials to completely eradicate the virus outside quarantine centers, hospitals, and neighborhoods classified as high-risk areas.

The city has been under lockdown from end March, and the authorities still do not have a date to reopen.

Despite the discontent shown by many Shanghai residents on social networks, the authorities said the situation “shows a positive trend” and assured that the city would return to normal soon as long as the zero-covid policy was strictly adhered to.

The tightening of the measures is to cut community transmission of the virus “by the beginning of May,” public health expert Chen Xi said, quoted by the Global Times.

Chen warned of the danger of infections in the queues for mass testing as the drive intensifies.

Many Shanghai residents told the Global Times that their communities asked them to maintain at least a 2-meter distance when queuing up for tests.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Shanghai has registered a total of 39,643 symptomatic cases of Covid-19 and 43 deaths. EFE


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