Home » Covid in China: Shanghai in 2nd phase of lockdown, nearly 16mn to be tested

Covid in China: Shanghai in 2nd phase of lockdown, nearly 16mn to be tested

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The second phase of China’s financial hub Shanghai’s staggered lockdown came into force on Friday amid a continuing surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.

About 16 million residents of Shanghai’s western districts will be tested for the coronavirus during the second stage of the lockdown that’s expected to last until April 5.

Uncertainty looms for residents of Shanghai’s eastern districts who were supposed to be released from four days of isolation but have now been told their lockdowns could be extended if Covid-19 cases are found in their residential compounds.

Shanghai reported 358 confirmed locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and 4,144 asymptomatic carriers on Thursday, Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai municipal health commission, said on Friday.

Overall, the city has recorded 36,000 Covid-19 cases, mostly the Omicron variant in March.

“From Saturday, people leaving the city will have to either show a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours together with a negative antigen testing result within 24 hours, or present a negative nucleic acid test within 24 hours,” Wu said, according to the official news agency, Xinhua.

Epidemiologists, according to state media, have admitted that Shanghai’s previous targeted prevention approach appears to have fallen behind in the race against the highly contagious and stealthy Omicron variant.

The earlier policies had helped Shanghai weather previous flare-ups without compromising economic growth, the report said.

Ma Chunlei, a top Shanghai government official, admitted on Thursday that Shanghai was ill prepared for the latest surge in infections.

The city authorities, the tabloid Global Times reported, quoting Ma, had not developed sufficient knowledge about the highly contagious Omicron variant, and its control measures have not been up to speed.

China is battling a surge in Covid-19 cases for several weeks with the new epicentres being Shanghai and the northeastern province of Jilin.

National health commission (NHC) officials have said the country recorded over 100,000 Covid-19 cases for March.

Among the 29 affected regions in the current surge, Jilin province reported more than 44,000 cases, the NHC said.

The country has fully vaccinated 88.11% of its population against the infection as of March 31, Lei Zhenglong, an NHC official said on Friday.

As of Thursday, more than 3.27 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered across the Chinese mainland, and over 1.24 billion people had been fully vaccinated.

Around 224 million people over the age of 60 had been vaccinated.

Of these, over 212 million people had been fully vaccinated, and over 143 million people had received booster shots, Lei said.

The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported 1,787 locally transmitted symptomatic Covid-19 cases and 5,442 asymptomatic ones.

Of the new symptomatic local infections, 1,363 were reported in Jilin, 358 in Shanghai, 16 in Heilongjiang province, 10 in Zhejiang province, and nine in the province of Jiangsu.

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