Shanghai authorities announced they will step up enforcement of lockdown precautions, as Covid’s popularity rises in China’s financial capital.
Electronic door alarms, as well as evacuating people to disinfect their homes, are two new tactics.
Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes this week as a part of the government’s campaign to disinfect areas. The curfews will continue in Shanghai for the fifth week.
The city’s health department said one of the two people who had been in close contact with infected individuals has died, and that authorities will move all affected persons and close contacts to state-run centralized quarantine.
In addition, in some of the city’s most devastating sectors, disinfection measures will be stepped up.
This will most certainly mean that some people are being forced to relocate temporarily, including those who have already passed the test.
The order to leave their homes for temporary housing comes just a few days after two additional Shanghai neighborhoods – Beicai and Pingwang – were ordered to vacate their houses.
Residents of Beicai were instructed to pack their belongings and leave their wardrobe doors ajar in an official notification.
They were also advised to leave their front door and their pets open. The operation was so massive that images of people waiting in line with packed suitcases at night were seen on social media.
With the lockdown gradually approaching its fifth week, authorities appear to be showing no sign of relenting in their effort to keep China’s recently damaged “zero Covid” strategy. In reality, things are getting worse.
People’s houses will be disinfected in the most damaged regions. Even those who have tested negative may be forced to relocate temporarily.
This conclusion is inescapable since the BBC announced last week on the mass exodus and forced removal of hundreds of individuals from their homes in at least two areas of the city, necessitating enormous clean-up.
The officials in Shanghai also stressed something that has become increasingly important: that all infected persons and close contacts be transferred to government-run centralised quarantine facilities.
They want patients who test negative to be released sooner.
But, as the People’s Daily newspaper, China’s leading Party mouthpiece, declared on its front page last Monday, “persistence is victory.”
The latest steps demonstrate how far the Chinese government is prepared to go to contain Covid in Shanghai, which has long been recognized as China’s financial and commercial capital.
In certain sections of the city, residents have been struggling to obtain food for days despite the fact that a major portion of the population lives in areas where food distributions are limited.
The government’s lockdown extension has caused transportation companies, grocery shop websites, and even the delivery of public goods to collapse.
The country’s zero-Covid strategy, which prioritizes eradicating the virus rather than living with it, is still being maintained as many countries have already chosen to do.
But the Omicron strain’s higher transmissibility and gentler character have raised concerns about whether the current strategy will last.
The most recent epidemic in Shanghai, which was first identified in late March, has resulted in more than 400,000 cases and 36 fatalities.
According to Chinese officials, all of the victims were elderly, unvaccinated residents with significant health issues.
Consequently, the city’s population of 25 million people has been told to stay at home.