For the first time since the outbreak, Shanghai has reported no cases of COVID
With a zero-COVID strategy, China is the only large economy still implementing targeted lockdowns, massive testing, and lengthy quarantines in an effort to eliminate new cases.
After months of virus-sparked lockdowns and restrictions, China announced zero new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai on Saturday for the first time since March.
China’s largest city, Shanghai, went under lockdown for months last spring due to a COVID surge triggered by the Omicron variant, while Beijing was forced to shut down schools and offices for weeks due to a separate outbreak.
Since the outbreak began in early March, the number of locally transmitted cases has dropped to a trickle. Shanghai reported its first case of zero locally transmitted infections on Saturday.
According to a statement made by the city, “There were no new domestic COVID-19 confirmed cases and no new domestic asymptomatic infections in Shanghai on June 24, 2022.”
Shanghai’s 25 million citizens were largely released from the lockdown in early June, but the city has struggled to return to normal as specific districts re-imposed restrictions in reaction to new outbreaks.
Two weeks ago, the authorities ordered a new round of mass testing, which resulted in the temporary closure of the city for millions.
Following an outbreak connected to nightlife, Beijing has re-imposed restrictions that had been lifted earlier this month.
“Heaven Supermarket infection chain” – named after a famous bar visited by the patients – has been effectively blocked following days of mass testing and localized lockdowns, Beijing police announced last week.
School officials announced on Saturday that all elementary and middle school students might return to class on Monday.
Only two new infections in the immediate area were discovered in Beijing on Saturday.
It was only on Saturday that Shenzhen’s southern industrial powerhouse announced a three-day closure of wholesale markets and cinemas in a central neighborhood bordering Hong Kong following the discovery of COVID instances.
Officials in China believe that the zero-COVID policy is crucial to avoid a healthcare crisis, citing the uneven distribution of medical resources and poor immunization rates among the elderly as examples.
Because of this, the plan hit China’s second-biggest economy as well as the tightly-controlled country, which has seen some unusual protests.
China’s worldwide isolation has also encouraged some foreign enterprises and people with the financial resources to plan their exits.