Shanghai, the Chinese financial capital of 25 million people, is facing the worst outbreak of covid-19 cases in two years and entering a two-phase lockdown. Residents in the eastern part of the city will not be able to leave their homes from today until April 1 at 5 am. The restrictive measures will then apply to the western part of Shanghai.
Following the announcement of this measure last Sunday night, residents of the city rushed to the supermarkets, while many were critical of authorities because they failed to stop the spread of the coronavirus despite the imposition of restrictive measures for many weeks.
China seemed to have eradicated the coronavirus in 2020 thanks to quarantine
According to city hall, the two-phase lockdown will speed up diagnostic testing on Shanghai residents to reduce the spread of the epidemic.
Until recently, Chinese city authorities tried to avoid a complete lockdown so as not to hurt the economy, opting instead more targeted measures such as a 48-hour lockdown in specific residential buildings.
However, there has been a new wave of infections in recent days due to the more contagious Omicron variant.
The Ministry of Health today announced 3,500 new cases of covid-19 in Shanghai.
Located in the east of Shanghai, Pudong, which is going into lockdown from today, is the city's main airport and the famous business district with its huge skyscrapers.
From Friday, the restrictive measures will be implemented in Puxi, the western part of Shanghai.
At present, the local authorities have not specified if and how the operation of the airports and the port of the city will be affected.
Lifting of measures in Shenzhen
China seemed to have eradicated the coronavirus in 2020 thanks to quarantine regulations it imposed on those entering the country, monitoring the movements of civilians and extensive lockdowns on cities.
However, the Omicron variant made officials rethink their response and question their adoption of a zero-tolerance policy towards covid-19.
Thousands of new cases were reported in mainland China in the past two weeks.
In addition, millions of residents of provinces affected by the epidemic, such as the Shenzhen technology metropolis or the industrial city of Shenyang, have recently been locked down.
In Shenzhen, the authorities lifted restrictive measures they had previously imposed in early March as very few new cases are being registered and economic activity is slowly being restored.
At the same time, Chinese authorities keeping a watchful eye on the situation in Hong Kong where many people lost their lives in the last month due to the omicron variant.