COVID: Shanghai splits in half with Huangpu River for new two-way lockdown | World news

The Chinese city of Shanghai will be split in half for a two-part lockdown that will see authorities unleash an experimental COVID test regime.

Shanghai has been battling a new growth of coronavirus for almost a month, and on Saturday reported the highest daily number of cases since the first outbreak in China returned.

Authorities have decided to use the Huangpu River that runs through the city as a dividing point, as it closes in two stages over a nine-day period.

Districts on the one hand will be closed and tested between March 28 and April 1, the other between April 1 and April 5.

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Public transportation, including ride-hailing services, in all areas will be suspended during the closures, the city council said on its official WeChat account, adding that unapproved cars will not be allowed on the roads.

It also said all businesses and factories will stop manufacturing or work remotely during the lockdown, except those involved in offering public services or providing food.

“The public is asked to support, understand and cooperate with the city’s epidemic prevention and control work, and to participate in nucleic acid testing in an orderly manner,” a government spokesman added.

The city registered 2,631 new asymptomatic cases on Saturday, which on that day accounted for nearly 60% of China’s total new asymptomatic cases, plus 47 new symptoms with symptoms.

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Coronavirus cases have more than tripled in mainland China. Photo: AP

While business numbers in Shanghai remain modest by global standards, the city of 26 million people has become a test field for China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as it seeks to bring the highly infected Omicron variant under control.

Shanghai authorities have previously opposed a broad lockdown of the city to prevent its economy from destabilizing and opted for a more tailored “cutting and gridding” approach, with the weeks screened one by one.

More than 14 million residents have taken antigen tests, the city’s municipal health commission said on Sunday.

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But some residents have complained about seemingly endless cycles of testing and the piecemeal approach to ending transmission chains, with some saying the cost of zero-COVID had become too high.

China reported a total of 4,448 new asymptomatic infections on March 26, up from 4,430 a day earlier, including 1,007 new cases in the northeastern province of Jilin, currently under lockdown.

COVID: Shanghai splits in half with Huangpu River for new two-way lockdown | World news

Source link COVID: Shanghai splits in half with Huangpu River for new two-way lockdown | World news

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