Shanghai reports zero Covid cases for first time in months

BEIJING: China reports no new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai for the first time since March on Saturday, when the country’s latest outbreak subsided after months of lockdowns and other restrictions.
China is the last major economy to commit to a zero-Covid strategy, eliminating all infections with a combination of targeted lockdown measures, mass testing, and long quarantine periods.
Shanghai’s economic hub was forced to close for months during this spring’s Covid bull run due to the rapid spread of the virus. Omicron variation, while the capital Beijing Schools and offices closed for weeks because of a separate outbreak.
But the infection has slowed to a trickle in recent days, with Shanghai on Saturday reporting no locally transmitted cases for the first time since before the outbreak in early March.
“There are no new confirmed domestic cases of Covid-19 and no new domestic asymptomatic infections in Shanghai,” the city said in a statement. declare.
The ban on Shanghai’s 25 million residents was mostly lifted in early June, but urban has struggled to return to normal as individual neighborhoods have reimposed restrictions on new infections.
Millions of people in the city were temporarily locked down two weeks ago after the government ordered a new mass testing campaign.
In Beijing, restrictions imposed in May were then relaxed as cases fell, but tightened again this month after a cluster of infections linked to nightlife emerged.
After days of mass testing and local closures, the “paradise supermarket chain” – named after a popular bar visited by patients – is now effectively under lockdown, Beijing authorities say. last week.
The city’s education office said Saturday that all elementary and middle school students can return to their classrooms for in-person learning on Monday.
Beijing reported only two new local infections on Saturday.
However, the southern manufacturing powerhouse of China Shenzhen said on Saturday it would close wholesale markets, cinemas and gyms in a bordering central district. Hong Kong for three days after Covid cases were detected there.
Chinese officials insist a zero-Covid policy is necessary to prevent a healthcare disaster, pointing out that health resources are unevenly distributed and vaccination rates are low among the elderly.
However, the strategy has impacted the world’s second-largest economy, and its strict enforcement has sparked rare protests in the tightly controlled country.
China’s international isolation has also prompted some well-financed foreign businesses and families to plan their exit.

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