Covid in China: Shanghai cases soar, largescale lockdown respite unlikely
China’s financial hub Shanghai on Thursday reported over 27,000 Covid-19 cases including 2,573 symptomatic infections, a record number for a day, as President Xi Jinping said that the country must continue with its strict “dynamic Covid clearance” policy and pandemic control measures.
The mainland Covid-19 numbers were also the highest: 29,317 cases including 2,999 symptomatic cases, according to the national health commission’s (NHC) daily bulletin released on Thursday morning.
Shanghai’s 25 million residents continue to battle the worst Omicron-drive Covid-19 outbreak with a massive majority still locked down, some for three-to-four weeks since March.
Lockdown restrictions have only been partially eased in some localities, which have not reported fresh cases for two weeks.
The municipal health commission of Shanghai said on Thursday that the city currently has nine Covid-19 patients in severe condition since the resurgence of the epidemic in March.
“Eight of the severe cases are older people aged between 70 and 93, the commission said, adding that all of them had high-risk factors such as serious underlying diseases, and none of them were vaccinated against Covid-19,” the official news agency, Xinhua reported.
Chances of further easing of the lockdown seemed to have waned after Xi called for sticking to current Covid-containing policies.
Speaking during a visit to south China’s Hainan island, Xi, quoted by Chinese-state controlled radio, indicated there would be no immediate change of approach in pandemic control measures.
According to the state radio report, Xi said the country must stick to its approach, which has all but shut China’s borders to international travel, and not relax prevention measures.
“It is risky for Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic to stay home instead of in centralised quarantine, as they might cause further transmission and miss the optimal treatment period,” said
Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the state-run tabloid, Global Times. “Failure to detect and treat their symptoms in a timely manner may result in the continued spread of the virus,” Wu said, adding: “They may also miss the optimal treatment period.”
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