The China He ordered the largest quarantine since the Covid-19 pandemic began more than two years ago.
city Shanghaiwhich has a population of 25 million, will be detained in two phases for nine days, during which the authorities will conduct Covid-19 tests on all citizens.
The city – a major financial center – faced a new wave of infections last month. But so far, officials have resisted putting the entire city on lockdown to avoid disrupting the economy too much.
However, after registering the site 2,600 COVID-19 cases on Saturday (26th), The highest daily number since the start of the epidemic, the authorities seem to have changed their minds.
This number of infections is not high by some international standards.
To give you an idea, Brazil recorded 10,200 cases on Sunday (27), the last time the country recorded a daily moving average of cases below 2,700 was in April 2020, nearly two years ago.
At the peak of the omicron variant, in February 2022, Brazil reached a daily moving average of 189,000 cases.
All Shanghai residents must pass a Covid-19 test – Image: Reuters
A city divided in two
confinement in Shanghai It will take place in two phases, with restrictions in the east of the city from Monday until April 1, and in the west between April 1 and 5.
Public transport will be suspended and companies or factories will have to stop working Or work remotely, officials announced.
The city government posted the instructions on its WeChat account, a popular app among Chinese, urging residents to “support, understand and cooperate in epidemic prevention and control work.”
Other lockdowns during the pandemic affected entire Chinese provinces, although people were often still able to travel in those areas.
But Shanghai, due to its high population density, is the largest entire city that has been isolated so far. It is the commercial capital of China And by some standards, the largest city in the country.
At the moment, it is one of the regions most affected by Covid, while China It is struggling to contain the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is behind the record new cases recorded in recent weeks.
Officials said that so far, the port and financial center is located in Shanghai You must continue to work for the benefit of the economy.
The tiered approach to this shutdown means that half of the city will remain active, while the other part is on lockdown.
Millions of residents in other Chinese cities have come under full restrictions, often after a relatively small number of Covid-19 cases.
Zero Covid policy
The recent increase in cases in ChinaDespite its small size compared to those recorded in several other places in the world, it represents a major challenge to the “zero Covid” strategy that this country has taken since the beginning of the pandemic.
The government ordered Fast blocks and strict restrictions To contain any new outbreak of cases.
Politics discriminate China Than most other places are now trying to live with the virus. Even in countries that have adopted a “zero Covid” policy in the past, such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, there has been a change in attitudes recently, with some restrictions easing.
The main reason for the end of this view of initially stifling any outbreak was the omicron variant, which is more transmissible than all previous versions of the coronavirus. This ratio sparked record new cases in several parts of the world, although the proportion of hospitalizations and deaths were much lower compared to previous waves.
The availability of effective vaccines and treatments, especially in wealthy nations, has been another factor that has allowed the easing of many of the restrictions that have characterized the past two years.
some residents Shanghai He complained of endless testing cycles, suggesting that the cost of the “Covid Zero” policy had become too high.
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