China’s Shanghai tightens restrictions on people’s movement despite low COVID-19 cases

China’s government has imposed an abrupt order of tightening the COVID protocols despite several regions logging a low number of cases. Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, has been reeling under the strict COVID lockdown for more than a month now. According to a report by the Associated Press, the Shanghai authority issued notices in which it ordered residents to stay indoors. The authorities have further directed residents to observe a “quiet” period in which they were barred from receiving non-essential deliveries until May 11.

The notice stated that the tightened measures could be extended depending on the results of mass testing. “Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Together we can lift the lockdown at an early date,” said one notice issued in the city’s Huangpu district and posted online. It is worth mentioning that the city reported around 4,000 cases and 11 deaths in the past 24 hours– a decrease of 15,000 cases as compared to April 18 data, when the city had reported its maximum cases. Despite a decrease in the cases, it is still unclear what prompted the authorities to increase movement restrictions.  

Notably, several cities in China were facing strict lockdown norms as Coronavirus cases soared tremendously due to the spread of the Omicron variant in the last two-three weeks– with Shanghai reporting maximum cases. As per local media reports, at least 44 cities are facing a stringent lockdown wherein people are not allowed to move out of their houses for the next two weeks, resulting in increasing frustration among locals. In clips posted on social media, people can be seen screaming from their windows in frustration or clashing with hazmat-clad workers. “I don’t know what will happen in May, but after the lockdown, I think I’ll need psychological help,” said Zhang Chen, a researcher with a technology company.

What the?? This video taken yesterday in Shanghai, China, by the father of a close friend of mine. She verified its authenticity: People screaming out of their windows after a week of total lockdown, no leaving your apartment for any reason. pic.twitter.com/iHGOO8D8Cz

— Patrick Madrid ✌🏼 (@patrickmadrid) April 9, 2022

BREAKING—China’s grip on BA2. At least 23 cities in China on full or partial lockdown—cities with over 193 million residents. Food shortages throughout even Shanghai. Doctors and nurses also exhausted—this doctor collapsed, and was carried off by patients at an isolation center. pic.twitter.com/raJlRNEezC

— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) April 9, 2022

People quarantined at convention centre complain of inadequate facilities

As per the new rules, anyone who tests positive but shows few or no symptoms is required to spend one week in a quarantine facility – where residents are checked twice a day for fever and are told to record health information on mobile phones. While speaking to the Associated Press on phone on April 26, Beibei, a 38-year-old woman said that people complained about leaky roofs, inadequate food supplies and delays in treatment for medical problems but the volunteers are not taking any steps to tackle the problems. “We haven’t found a place with a hot shower. Lights are on all night, and it’s hard to fall asleep, said Beibei. “Bathrooms are not very clean. So many people use them, and volunteers or cleaners can’t keep up,” she added. 

Image: AP/Pixabay

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