Record number of Covid-19 cases in Shanghai as locked down residents face tough curbs

Shanghai on March 27 announced a two-stage lockdown to carry out mass Covid-19 testing. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
People queueing to buy food in Shanghai's main shopping area, on March 29, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - China's financial hub of Shanghai reported a record 4,381 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases and 96 symptomatic cases for Monday (March 28), the city government said on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

That compared with 3,450 new asymptomatic cases and 50 new cases with symptoms reported a day earlier.

Shanghai on Sunday announced a two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million people to carry out mass Covid-19 testing.

The city will first lockdown areas east of the Huangpu River, which includes its financial district and industrial parks, for four days starting from Monday. Then the lockdown will start in the city's west for another four days.

Shanghai has also further tightened restrictions, Bloomberg reported.

All residents in the Pudong District, home to many elite financial institutions and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, will be confined to their homes and allowed out only to get a Covid-19 test, according to a statement issued by the area’s residential compounds reviewed by Bloomberg.

Residents shouldn’t walk in the hallways, garages or open areas of their residential compounds in order to reduce the risk of infection, Wu Qianyu, an official with the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said during a briefing on Tuesday.

That includes walking pets. 

Previously residents could go to the lobby of their buildings and walk around the open areas of their compounds.

Some could even leave the complex as long as no infections had been detected in their buildings.

While the Shanghai government said Sunday night that residents were required to stay home, the tough confinement curbs were not articulated until Tuesday. 

The city also rolled out a slew of measures, including tax relief, rent extension or reductions, and loan support for small businesses, retail and catering industries hit hard by the outbreak, officials said.

A worker in a protective suit guarding a residential area under lockdown in Shanghai, on March 29, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Across the country, the total number of new asymptomatic cases stood at 5,758 on Monday, compared with 5,134 a day earlier.

China reported 1,293 confirmed coronavirus cases for Monday, compared with 1,275 a day earlier.

There were no new deaths, leaving the total death toll at 4,638.

As of Monday, mainland China had reported a total cumulative confirmed cases of 145,808.

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