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China’s Shanghai begins a two-step blockade as COVID surges

Shanghai, March 28 (Reuters)-China’s financial hub, Shanghai, will begin a two-stage blockade of 26 million residents on Monday, closing bridges and tunnels and containing the surge in COVID-19 cases. Therefore, the traffic on the highway was restricted to scramble.

Snap Lockdown, announced on Sunday by the Shanghai Municipal Government, roughly divides the city into two along the Huangpu River to enable “time difference” testing. This is the biggest COVID-related turmoil that has hit the city.

Residents of eastern Huangpu were trapped in their homes, but from April 1st, residents of the west stockpiled groceries and other necessities in preparation for a similar fate, overwhelmed delivery services, and lacked supermarket supplies. ..

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“Many wholesale markets are currently closed. Some vendors are reluctant to buy vegetables. If vegetables are not available from wholesalers or the fresh market is closed, we will end.” Told.

The blockade order is showing a turnaround for Shanghai authorities. Shanghai officials have denied the city blockade by Saturday as it pursued a more fragmented “slice and grid” approach to curb the infection.read more

Wu Huang, a member of the Shanghai expert COVID team, said a recent mass test found a “massive” infection throughout the city, causing a stronger reaction.

“Once an infected person is under control, it’s very important to control the outbreak in our city to stop the infection,” she told the briefing, testing until all risks were gone. I added that it would be done.

Shanghai said earlier this month that it has a daily testing capacity of about 3 million people, but Chen Erzhen, a doctor in charge of the city’s quarantine facility, may not yet surpass the rapid spread of the virus. I warned that I couldn’t.

“Once the number of cases reaches a certain level, the difficulty of relying on previous staffing increases significantly,” he told the government newspaper Liberation Daily, and a new blockade is at least necessary to cause an outbreak. He added that it should ensure a “quietness”. Control.

Although still low by global standards, Shanghai recorded a record 3,450 asymptomatic COVID cases on Sunday, accounting for about 70% of the country’s total with 50 symptomatic cases.

Nationally, there were 5,134 new asymptomatic and 1,219 symptomatic cases on Sunday, health officials said in their breaking news.read more

confusion

As a major driver of the Chinese economy, Shanghai is listening to President Xi Jinping’s call to minimize the impact of COVID regulations on businesses and people’s lives.

Wu said in a briefing on Saturday that Shanghai could not be closed for a long time because it played an important role in the domestic and even global economies.

However, following Sunday’s turn, mass testing disrupted transportation, healthcare, and widespread economic activity, and land sales across the city also ceased on Monday.

The Shanghai Department of Public Safety said it had closed bridges and tunnels across the river and highway tollhouses were concentrated in the eastern part of the city until April 1.

The agency said traffic restrictions would be enforced on highways entering and exiting the city, and those leaving the country would have to show negative nucleic acid tests performed within the last 48 hours.

Shanghai also announced on Sunday that it will suspend public transportation, including ride-hailing services in closed areas. It also ordered the suspension of work in businesses and factories and exempted them from providing public services and food. Free up staff and other resources to support high volume testing.

U.S. car maker Tesla (TSLA.O) has suspended production at its factory in the area affected by the first phase of the blockade for four days, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. ..

Tesla did not immediately respond to the request for comment.read more

However, Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (0981.HK) said operations at its Shanghai plant were normal.read more

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Report by Andrew Galbraith, David Stanway, Xihao Jiang, Shanghai Newsroom, Additional Report by Ryan Woo in Beijing, Edited by Jane Wardell, Robert Birsel, Louise Heavens

Our Criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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