comscore Much of Shanghai locked down as mass COVID-19 testing begins | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Much of Shanghai locked down as mass COVID-19 testing begins

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Residents wearing face masks to help protect from the coronavirus line up outside a supermarket at night to buy groceries today in Shanghai, China. China began locking down most of its largest city of Shanghai as part of its strict COVID-19 strategy, amid questions over the policy’s economic toll on the country.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Residents wearing face masks to help protect from the coronavirus line up outside a supermarket at night to buy groceries today in Shanghai, China. China began locking down most of its largest city of Shanghai as part of its strict COVID-19 strategy, amid questions over the policy’s economic toll on the country.

BEIJING >> China began locking down most of its largest city of Shanghai as a coronavirus outbreak surges and amid questions about the economic toll of the nation’s “zero-COVID” strategy.

Shanghai’s Pudong financial district and nearby areas will be locked down from through Friday as citywide mass testing gets underway, the local government said. In the second phase of the lockdown, the vast downtown area west of the Huangpu River that divides the city will then start its own five-day lockdown Friday.

Residents will be required to stay home and deliveries will be left at checkpoints to ensure there is no contact with the outside world. Offices and all businesses not considered essential will be closed and public transport suspended.

Already, many communities within the city of 26 million have been locked down, with their residents required to submit to multiple tests for COVID-19. And Shanghai’s Disney theme park is among the businesses that closed earlier.

Shanghai detected another 3,500 cases of infection today, though all but 50 were people who tested positive but were not showing symptoms of COVID-19. China categorizes such cases separately from “confirmed cases” — those in people who are sick — leading to much lower totals in daily reports.

China has reported more than 56,000 infections nationwide this month, with a surge in the northeastern province of Jilin accounting for most of them.

In response to its biggest outbreak in two years, China has continued to enforce what it calls the “dynamic zero-COVID” approach, calling that the most economical and effective prevention strategy against COVID-19.

That requires lockdowns and mass testing, with close contacts often being quarantined at home or in a central government facility. The strategy focuses on eradicating community transmission of the virus as quickly as possible, sometimes by locking down entire cities.

While officials, including Communist Party leader Xi Jinping have encouraged more targeted measures, local officials tend to take a more extreme approach, concerned with being fired or otherwise punished over accusations of failing to prevent outbreaks.

With China’s economic growth already slowing, the extreme measures are seen as worsening difficulties striking employment, consumption and even global supply chains.

While China’s vaccination rate is around 87%, it is considerably lower among older people.

National data released earlier this month showed that over 52 million people aged 60 and older have yet to be vaccinated with any COVID-19 vaccine. Booster rates are also low, with only 56.4% of people between 60-69 having received a booster shot, and 48.4% of people between 70-79 having received one.

Comments (6)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up