China Puts Shanghai Under ‘Most Stringent Antivirus Measures Ever’

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS Transit officers, wearing protective gear, control access to a tunnel in the direction of Pudong district in lockdown as a measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Shanghai on March 28, 2022. - Millions of people in China's financial hub were confined to their homes on March 28 as the …
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

The government of Shanghai, China, has imposed “the city’s most stringent antivirus measures ever” on the financial hub’s population of roughly 26 million, China’s state-run Global Times reported on Monday.

“Shanghai is now under the city’s most stringent antivirus measures ever in a bid to stamp out the surging number of COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] infections,” the newspaper observed on March 28.

In addition to “sealing off,” or locking down, one half of the city at a time over the next week to prevent unwanted movement and conduct mass testing for the Chinese coronavirus, Shanghai’s government on March 27 ordered all non-essential businesses to close for seven days starting March 28.

“Public transport, taxis and car hailing services have been suspended in targeted areas, while cross-river bridges and tunnels have been closed. Meanwhile, the government is ratcheting up the building of isolation sites, conducting nucleic acid tests on the city’s 26 million people while guaranteeing food supplies and smooth medical channels for its residents,” the Global Times reported on Monday.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) recorded 45 confirmed (symptomatic) cases and 2,631 asymptomatic cases of the Chinese coronavirus in Shanghai on March 26. The NHC on March 27 documented 3,450 new asymptomatic cases of the Chinese coronavirus in Shanghai, a figure which accounted for “nearly 70 percent of the nationwide total, along with 50 [new] confirmed cases,” according to the Global Times.

Shanghai’s latest outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus is part of a nationwide resurgence of the disease across China in recent months. Chinese Communist Party authorities successfully spared Shanghai from the Party’s draconian “zero COVID,” or zero-tolerance, policy toward the Chinese coronavirus until now. Shanghai avoided Communist Party orders to lock down over the past two years of the pandemic because of its vital significance to the Chinese and global economy. The metropolis serves as the beating heart of China’s financial sector and is home to the world’s busiest shipping container port.

The Communist Party’s decision to essentially halt Shanghai’s normal business operations this week will cause repercussions that might negatively impact China’s national economy, Cao Heping, an economist at China’s Peking University, warned the Global Times on Monday.

“This new COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] wave in Shanghai could cut the city’s GDP growth by 0.5 percent in the first and second quarters compared to a year ago,” Cao predicted.

Shanghai’s latest Chinese coronavirus epidemic has mushroomed since sparking in early March. The city began announcing measures to curb viral transmission on March 11 when Shanghai’s government ordered most schools in the metropolis to close indefinitely.

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