China reported more than 20,000 new cases of Covid-19, highest ever number of cases recorded in a span of 24 hours, since the onset of the pandemic. Chinese news agency Global Times said that Shanghai saw the largest-ever daily increase of infections ‘with 268 confirmed cases and 13,086 asymptomatic infections’.
The news agency said that the city tested all its 25 million residents on Monday. The major financial hub remains locked down as it recorded more than 73,000 infections over the past month.
The number of cases have tested China’s approach to Covid but the authorities are adamant on sticking to the zero-Covid policy. The Global Times in an article quoted Chinese experts who batted for the policy to remain to fight the surge driven by Omicron. The experts also noted that China’s vaccination rate among the elderly is low.
Meanwhile, the Chinese state-media has called allegations of human costs of lockdown as propaganda by the western media. However, despite that several reports have emerged where Shanghai residents have said that the current debacle is a man-made disaster.
Speaking to Nikkei Asia, a resident named Wang who lives in the eastern part of the city highlighted that due to rising Covid-19 cases medical resources are primarily focused on a non-life-threatening virus as a result of the lockdown resulting in people suffering from other life-threatening diseases in crisis.
A resident speaking to news agency the Guardian said that her father, despite suffering from severe stomach pain, was not admitted to the hospital. Another Chinese worker who was stationed in Congo feared going blind since his operation was delayed due to quarantine measures. The administration also faces criticism for separating children from parents citing it necessary to control the virus.
People have also complained about the rising prices of staples and the shortage of food items and essentials in some parts of the city. The local administration, however, accepted that there were shortcomings in Shanghai’s preparatory measures. “We were inadequately prepared for the fast-rising number of infected patients, and our control measures have not been up to speed,” Ma Chunlei, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai government told reporters.
Global Times reported that officials in several districts in Shanghai are exploring hotels, exhibition centres and other venues to quarantine those who are infected.
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