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Shanghai asks entire city to self-test for COVID as frustration grows

World Apr 03, 2022 05:27AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. A worker in a protective suit sprays disinfectant at a community, during the second stage of a two-stage lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shanghai, China April 2, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song 2/2

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Shanghai on Sunday ordered its 26 million residents to undergo two more rounds of tests for COVID-19 as public anger grows over how authorities in China's most populous city are tackling a record coronavirus surge.

Residents should self-test on Sunday using antigen kits and report any positive results, Shanghai government officials told a news conference, while a nucleic acid test would be conducted citywide on Monday.

"The main task is to completely eliminate risk points and to cut off the chain of transmission so that we can curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible," said Wu Qianyu, an inspector from Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

Essentially all of China's financial capital is locked down after the city began curbing movement in its eastern districts last Monday, extending the restrictions to the entire city days later

Shanghai's lockdown has massively disrupted daily life and businesses, even as healthcare workers and volunteers work round the clock trying to test the entire population and supply residents with groceries.

China's COVID caseload remains low by international standards, but spikes in places like Shanghai are testing its previously successful approach of stamping out the virus through strict curbs and aggressive testing and tracing.

Most of Shanghai's infections have been asymptomatic, according to official data, but China's "dynamic clearance" approach requires authorities to test, trace and centrally quarantine all positive cases.

Shanghai on Sunday reported 7,788 daily locally transmitted asymptomatic cases, up from 6,501 the day before, while symptomatic cases rose to 438 from 260.

The city accounted for the bulk of mainland China's 11,781 daily locally transmitted asymptomatic cases and nearly one-third of its 1,506 symptomatic cases. This was the highest national case count since the early days of the pandemic in February 2020.

China is also battling a large outbreak in the northeastern province of Jilin.

Sent to Shanghai by the central government, Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan urged the city on Saturday to "make resolute and swift moves" to curb the pandemic.

GROWING ANGER

Stories of how Shanghai separates COVID-positive children from their parents have gone viral in the country and triggered widespread public anger.

Some have also demanded clarity over the testing regime, after a recorded phone call, reportedly between a Shanghai health official and a resident, was widely shared on Chinese social media.

Shanghai health officials said on Saturday they were investigating the case, in which the resident said his father had tested negative, according to his personal health app, but was told he was positive and had to be centrally quarantined.

In a rare instance of grassroots lobbying, several residents reposted a statement on the WeChat and Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) social media platforms saying they wanted asymptomatic or mild cases to be allowed to isolate at home, after reports of unsanitary and crowded conditions at quarantine facilities.

Jane Polubotko, a Ukrainian marketing manager quarantining at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, told Reuters there were no showers at the facility and she had only seen people with light symptoms, such as sneezes and coughs.

Supply chains and businesses are also being tested.

River congestion for containers and oil tankers off Shanghai has been easing since Thursday, but the number of bulkers queuing in outer Yangtze estuary anchorage jumped to nearly 90, the most since early October, Refinitiv data showed.

Nearby ports, such as Ningbo in Zhejiang province, are experiencing an acute surge in waiting vessels waiting, as companies divert cargos to avoid prolonged logistics turnarounds.

Still,some are hoping that lockdowns could start to ease soon.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc hopes to resume production at its Shanghai factory on Monday, two people familiar with the matter said, as it expects to see its first batch of workers released from lockdown.

Shanghai asks entire city to self-test for COVID as frustration grows
 

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Comments (5)
Ashraf Vawda
Ashraf Vawda Apr 03, 2022 1:12PM ET
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One would have expected Reuters to do the right thing and highlight the fact that china is forcing it citizens to do something that the Nuremberg code forbids. But then again MSM of the European continent is private and pushes a biased agenda that is creeping onto leftist marxism as well..
TJ Theodore
TJ Theodore Apr 03, 2022 7:13AM ET
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Seems a bit extreme when they only had 2129 cases across the entire country yesterday. Perhaps they are fudging a bit. Maybe leaving off a few zeros. Omicron, deltacron. The virus they created doesn’t care if The CCP lies about their numbers. It will swallow them up. The world sees right through their lies.
John Tierney
John Tierney Apr 03, 2022 6:51AM ET
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Idiots. Covid never existed.
John Laurens
John Laurens Apr 03, 2022 1:54AM ET
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their little gift to the world will infect every last human no matter what. they should know that most clearly. it was their invention.
jason xx
jason xx Apr 03, 2022 1:54AM ET
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It's not their fault M Or On it can and does happen anywhere
John Laurens
John Laurens Apr 03, 2022 1:54AM ET
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jason xx  WRONG - It came from their hack job of a lab, and after they knew it had leaked, they lied to the world about it. EVERYONE KNOWS IT. China owes the world countless trillions..
jason xx
jason xx Apr 03, 2022 1:54AM ET
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It's not their fault mor on viruses can will and have started anywhere
John Laurens
John Laurens Apr 03, 2022 1:54AM ET
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jason xx  This one certainly DID NOT!
PAULIUS MATIUSOVAS
PAULIUS MATIUSOVAS Apr 03, 2022 1:25AM ET
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really scary stuFF. 1 case per 1 million people. can we survive this, or should we just put ourselves in Cans
 
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