Several residents of Shanghai are proving sick as more than half a dozen rounds of mass tests found that Covid-19 disease lurks among family members locked into locked homes across the city with 25 million people.
Symptomatic cases rose 20 percent to a record 3,200 out of 23,072 infections, according to data from the previous 24 hours released Friday. It brought Shanghai’s total to 303,000 cases since March 1, of which nine patients – unvaccinated, elderly residents aged 70 to 93 – were in “severe” conditions due to their underlying conditions.
“Transmissions within households are currently the main reason for the sporadic spread of the Omicron variant in Shanghai,” said Wu Huanyu, deputy director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during a Thursday online press briefing, adding that contaminated food supplies has exacerbated the “intra-familial” infections.
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Shanghai authorities earmarked 140 billion yuan ($ 22 billion) in tax breaks, cash rebates, rent exemptions and economic incentives to survive, as a city-wide shutdown since April 5 has virtually stalled China’s financial and commercial center.
An area of the Shanghai Congress Center, which was converted into a temporary hospital, was disinfected on April 14, 2022. Photo: Xinhua alt = An area of the Shanghai Congress Center, which was transformed into a temporary hospital, was disinfected on April 14, 2022. Photo: Xinhua >
Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chunlan, who has been stationed in Shanghai since April 2 to oversee anti-pandemic work, on Thursday instructed local authorities to close any “loopholes” in the city’s work after the Chinese president doubled his government’s pursuit of a dynamic. zero-covid target.
“Concrete and strict measures must be taken and a new action plan must be drawn up as we aim to achieve the zero-Covid target as early as possible,” Sun said on Thursday, according to a Shanghai government statement. “Loopholes in antivirus measures should be targeted and quickly closed with a strengthened effort.”
Staff at the online grocery platform Meituan Maicai sorts and packs ordered groceries in eastern China’s Shanghai, April 12, 2022. Photo: Xinhua alt = Staff members at the online grocery platform Meituan Maicai sorts and packs ordered groceries in eastern China’s Shanghai, April 12, 2022. Photo: Xinhua>
The total number of infections in Shanghai fell by almost 17 percent from the record-breaking 27,719 cases a day earlier. No deaths have yet been attributed in Shanghai to the current outbreak, which has surpassed the sum of the previous two years since Covid-19 was first reported in China.
Nationwide, the total number of cases dropped from 29,317 a day earlier to 24,166, mostly centered around Shanghai, according to data released Friday. Guangdong province in southern China added 41 cases, 22 of which showed symptoms. Jilin province in northeastern China, near the border with North Korea, added 516 infections.
Daily new infections continued to rise, even after a city-wide shutdown was imposed on April 5th. The number of single-day cases rose to a record high 12 times over the last 14 days, staying above 20,000.
Sun instructed local officials to conduct more mass tests and transfer infected people to quarantine sites as soon as possible.
At least seven rounds of city-wide mass tests on all 25 million people have been conducted between April 3 and 13, with people in “lockdown zones” – residential compounds with at least one infection during the last seven days – still subject to daily nucleic acid or antigen test. Shanghai has not yet announced a timetable for lifting the city-wide shutdown.
“A prolonged shutdown will eventually paralyze the economy and lead to the collapse of companies,” said Wang Feng, chairman of Shanghai-based financial services group Ye Lang Capital. “It’s time for politicians to examine how to resume production and trade.”
But the incentives would not be enough to save thousands of small businesses, Wang added.
The barrier restricted all residents to their homes. Banks, factories, the local stock exchange, airports and seaports, which have continued to function to keep the very heart of China’s economy beating, operate in “closed circuits” where workers are required to sleep on site to ensure zero contact with outsiders.
As most workplaces are not able to accommodate all employees, factories and transport hubs have had to operate with reduced capacity. The effects are spreading to the surrounding provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, paralyzing one of the world’s most vital supply chains.
Nine, with a factory in the Anhui provincial capital Hefei, halted its assembly of electric cars for five days after its supply of components was cut off in Jiangsu, Shanghai and Jilin province in northeast China. The Shanghai-based automaker said Friday production had resumed.
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