in Shanghai, residents face new strict lockdown

Food sometimes difficult to access, patients rejected in hospital, fear of being confined in solitary confinement… The inhabitants of Shanghai face, on Friday, April 1, the creeping containment of the most populous city in China. The metropolis of 25 million inhabitants is facing its worst epidemic outbreak since the start of the pandemic.

To avoid total confinement in the face of the Omicron variant, the town hall alternately put the two halves of the city under a glass bell to carry out general screening there. The East (Pudong) is fully confined from Monday for four days. From this Friday it is the turn of the West (Puxi), in theory for the same duration.

However, many residential complexes in Pudong, where the emblematic skyscrapers of the business district are located, remain confined due to the finding of positive cases. “It’s actually a general lockdown of the city”judges a user of the Chinese social network Weibo.

Sunday’s announcement of closures prompted an influx of consumers to supermarkets eager to stock up on food. Vegetable prices have risen, tripling in some markets. Even China’s ultra-popular fresh food delivery apps are struggling due to a lack of delivery people. However, there is no need to fear shortages, according to official media and the authorities have announced that they are distributing baskets of fresh produce.

“But what everyone fears most is being sent to quarantine in these prefabricated houses that serve as isolation rooms. The conditions are very bad.” a resident told AFP. The press also reports cases of patients with asthma or who required dialysis who died after being turned away from hospitals due to a lack of negative Covid tests.

According to the correspondent of France Télévisoins in China, Arnauld Miguet, residents who have a balcony will not be able to enjoy it during confinement. Those who have pets have made litter boxes in their apartment, because they will not be able to take the animals out for their needs.

A senior city official, Ma Chunlei, admitted this week that preparations for Covid had been “insufficient”. On Weibo, a hashtag has been created to allow Shanghainese to report their problems. The council has set up a help line.

China’s Ministry of Health announced more than 7,200 new positive cases across the country on Friday, including some 4,500 in Shanghai. High figures for China, which applies a “zero covid” strategy. Despite questionable results, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Mi Feng, assured that the will to continue with this policy is “unwavering”.

Leave a Comment