The second stage of the lockdown, which shifted Friday to China’s western half of Shanghai’s largest city and financial capital, saw 16 million Shanghai residents being tested for coronavirus.
Residents in Shanghai’s eastern district who were supposed be freed from their four-day isolation have been informed that their lockdowns can be extended if COVID-19 case are discovered in their homes.
Global markets are worried about the potential economic impact of Shanghai’s lockdown. It was carried out in two phases over eight day to allow testing of all its residents. China’s manufacturing activity dropped to a five-month low during March, according to a monthly survey. This was due to lockdowns and other restrictions that forced factories into suspending production.
Residents of Puxi, on the west bank of the Huangpu River dividing Shanghai, cannot leave their homes or neighborhoods for four days beginning Friday. Some compounds had their gates locked from the outside. Meals and groceries were delivered to the collection points.
Volunteers and government workers wearing full protective gear went door to door in the city of 26 million people. They called for residents to come forward for testing at designated locations. The waits were long and they were often denied entry.
Veronica Wang, a Pudong resident, was referring to Shanghai’s eastern part. She said that she and others she knows are still under lockdown. There is no word when normal life will return.
Wang’s home was already closed before the lockdown. According to Wang, a significant portion of her day is spent trying to get on large orders for groceries or toothpaste through large groups.
She said, “For instance, we have one group order (group order), set up for vegetables and one for eggs,”
Although Shanghai was not subject to a broad lockdown in the past, many people opted to remain at home despite being given no formal instructions.
Wang stated that the “whole atmosphere is rather tense” at this time. Wang cited a neighbor who waited hours to get an answer to an emergency call.
She said, “The mood is different.”
China’s National Health Commission reported that another 1,787 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in China on Thursday. This included 358 in Shanghai. Another 5,442 people tested positive for the virus, with 4,144 of these in Shanghai.
People who have tested positive for HIV without presenting symptoms are being admitted to temporary isolation centers. These centers include gymnasiums or exhibition centers.
The normally bustling metropolis has been brought to a halt by the suspension of public transport and closure of roads. While residents of the city are being asked to remain put, train stations and airports remain open.
China’s continued adherence to its “zero COVID” approach, despite restrictions being relaxed elsewhere, is evident in the lockdown. China was the first to act in 2020’s pandemic, imposing a 76-day lockdown upon Wuhan, the city where the virus was first discovered.
Some Chinese have decried the measures as being too harsh, but there has been very little resistance. After panic buying had stripped shelves of essentials, Shanghai authorities acknowledged that they did not manage to control the surge caused by the omicron version.
Ma Chunlei, a top official from Shanghai, said that “we didn’t prepare sufficiently” during a Thursday news conference. “We are open to all criticisms and will make every effort to improve.”