Seven more elderly die of Covid-19 in Shanghai as China battles raging outbreak

Published on Apr 19, 2022 10:47 AM IST

China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei on Monday said the country will continue to pursue its zero-tolerance approach in containing Covid-19

Residents of Shanghai wait to get tested for Covid-19 amid lockdown in China on Monday. (Bloomberg Photo)
Residents of Shanghai wait to get tested for Covid-19 amid lockdown in China on Monday. (Bloomberg Photo)

BEIJING: Seven more people have died of Covid-19 in Shanghai, the second consecutive day the city reported deaths, as China’s financial hub continues to battle an outbreak that has put its residents under a prolonged lockdown, sparked resentment over supply problems and affected business.

The city authorities said in a statement on Tuesday that seven elderly people infected with Covid-19 succumbed to the disease the previous day, pushing the death toll to 10 in the current outbreak.

The elderly patients were aged between 60 years and 101 years, and all of them suffered from underlying medical conditions. Six among the deceased were above 75 years old, the local health authorities said.

The total number of fresh cases in the city continues to be high despite a drop compared to last week.

Shanghai reported 3,084 symptomatic Covid-19 cases for the day before, accounting for the vast majority of the 3,297 locally-transmitted confirmed infections in the mainland.

The city, the epicentre of China’s ongoing worst countrywide epidemic since 2020, also accounted for 17,332 silent infections of the 18,187 similar cases reported from the mainland on April 18, the national health commission (NHC) said on Tuesday.

“The seven people’s condition worsened after being admitted to hospital, and they died after the rescue failed,” the Shanghai government said.

The Covid-19 death toll in China now stands at 4,648.

Shanghai, a city of around 25 million residents, reporting its first deaths comes a month into the ongoing outbreak of the pandemic.

Questions have been raised over its official death toll, lower than countries with higher vaccination rates; vaccination rates are especially lower among the elderly.

China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei on Monday said the country will continue to pursue its zero-tolerance approach in containing Covid-19.

If China were to loosen its controls, a large number of people with underlying conditions, as well as the elderly and kids, will be threatened, which would severely affect the stable development of the economy and society, Ma wrote in a state media article.

“Any relaxation or reduction in requirements, any formalism or bureaucracy, any loopholes the size of a needle will result in an ignition point of the epidemic, which means paying dozens or even hundreds of times the price,” he wrote.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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