A Day After Ending Lengthy Lockdown, Shanghai Detects Seven New Covid Case Clusters
© Sputnik / Iliya PitalevFuturistic Beauty of Shanghai
© Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev/
It seemed earlier this week that it had finally ended, and just in time for the Dragon Boat Festival on Friday. However, Shanghai could be headed for a new lockdown after health authorities detected seven new clusters of COVID-19 cases.
Shanghai officials detected seven new cases on Wednesday: three symptomatic and four asymptomatic cases in the Pudong New Area and Jing'an District, Shanghai Daily reported. All had been vaccinated. All 26 close contacts of those infected have been put under quarantine, and 21 of them have tested negative for the Omicron variant of the virus.
In response, two residential compounds in Pudong and two in the Caojiadu subdistrict of Jing’an were classified as “medium risk” areas, effectively returning residents to the at-home quarantine they had just left for another 14 days.
Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission, told reporters on Wednesday that "the risk of resurgence still exists, although Shanghai has been fully restoring its normal production and life.” He urged strict control measures be implemented to protect the city’s "hard-earned achievements."
The news comes just a day after the lockdown ended for 90% of Shanghai’s 25 million people, who live in areas deemed “low risk” of infection after having no cases detected for 14 days. A “phased” revival of daily life will take place over the course of the next month, with students continuing to attend class remotely from home, the South China Morning Post reported. Employees of the city’s major factories are maintaining their “closed loop” system of quarantining workers at work to keep production going.
Residents can take public transportation or visit public venues - as many are expected to do beginning on Friday when the Dragon Boat Festival, a national holiday in which droves of people will rush to watch boat races and eat pyramidal dumplings called zongzi. Average daily railway passenger trips are expected to hit 5.4 million, China Railway said on Thursday.
The outbreak had raged in Shanghai since March, although the city did not enter a total lockdown until April 1, requiring all residents to stay home and have goods shipped to their doors as health authorities tested them for COVID-19. Amid the outbreak, some 626,600 cases were detected in the metropolis.
The rise of the ultra-transmissive Omicron variant has put never-before-seen pressure on China’s “Zero Covid” policy, causing major outbreaks in Shanghai as well as in Hong Kong and Jilin Province, where negligence by local health authorities allowed asymptomatic cases to go unnoticed.
Still, the policy has spared China’s 1.4 billion-strong population much of the anguish, death, and chronic illness the rest of the globe has seen as one variant of Covid after another swept through the population. As a result, China has recorded just over 5,200 deaths, while the United States has seen more than 1 million and India perhaps as high as 4 million.