11 Apr 2022
A new record of 26,000 Covid cases has been reported in Shanghai in a 24-hour period as the city enters its third week of a strict lockdown.
As the government continues its “dynamic zero Covid policy” officials are aiming to reassure people they have secured sufficient supplies of basic necessities.
According to the country’s official Xinhua news agency, easing the policy now would be “disastrous.”
"China's medical system would risk a collapse leading to enormous loss of life if it gives up on epidemic prevention and control," the agency stated.
Shanghai has constructed over 100 temporary hospitals with capacity for 160,000 patients. People who test positive for Covid must attend one of these hospitals and not isolate at home.
However, the Shanghai government has unveiled plans to exit the measures currently in place, Sky News reports.
Residential compounds have been split into three types: areas that are totally sealed off, others that are subject to controls, and so-called "prevention areas" that are able to reopen after a fortnight without a positive case. Although residents need to stay in their district, they are permitted to circulate within that area.
Over the weekend, the United States advised citizens to rethink travelling to China, The Guardian reports, due to the “arbitrary enforcement” of local laws and Covid curbs, especially in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Jilin province. There was a risk of “parents and children being separated,” said U.S. officials.
Spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, said in response that the country was “strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the U.S. side’s groundless accusation against China’s epidemic response.
“It should be pointed out that China’s anti-epidemic policies are science-based and effective, and we are fully confident that Shanghai and other places in China will prevail over the new wave of the epidemic,” Zhao stated.