People in Shanghai ‘not free’ to fly out of their homes as COVID cases rise again By Reuters

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© . Workers in protective suits prepare to disinfect a residential complex in Huangpu district, following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China on April 20, 2022. China Daily via REUTERS

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By Brenda Goh and Ella Cao SHANGHAI () – Shanghai authorities said on Thursday that severe restrictions will remain in place for the time being, even in districts that managed to reduce transmission of COVID-19 to zero, causing pain for many residents. being stuck at home lasted longer for most of this month. That sober assessment, prompted by an unexpected rise in cases outside the quarantine zones, came after health officials raised hopes for a return to normalcy earlier this week by saying trends over the past few days showed Shanghai was slowing the transfers.” effectively curtailed”. During a regular press conference, an official from the remote island territory of Chongming district said most curbs would be kept in place, although it has reported zero cases outside the quarantine areas and 90% of its approximately 640,000 residents are now theoretically their homes. were allowed to leave. “For those who are in prevention areas, we must continue to ensure that they do not become ‘free to fly’ areas,” said Vice Governor Zhang Zhitong, referring to neighborhoods that meet the criteria for residents to be allowed to go outside. Supermarkets would remain closed to shoppers, vehicles would not be allowed on the roads without approval and in some cities in Chongming, only one person from each household would be allowed to leave the house every day, he said. The central district of Jingan, home to nearly 1 million people and some of the city’s flashiest shopping malls, announced Thursday that it would no longer allow residents from their residential complexes, citing the risk of large gatherings. Frustration is mounting among people who earlier this week thought their lives would slowly return to normal. “I have no more strength to complain about the measures that are changing from day to night,” a Jingan resident wrote on social media. “And this is not even a significant problem among the serious problems facing Shanghai.” A video of a tense interaction between a Jingan resident and a district committee official was widely circulated on Chinese social media on Wednesday evening. The resident repeatedly asks why she can’t go out despite living in an out-of-home area, but gets the same response: “I told you we got a message.” could not verify the authenticity of the video. Shanghai reported 15,861 new local asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up from 16,407 a day earlier. Symptomatic cases amounted to 2,634, versus 2,494. Crucially, there were 441 new cases outside the quarantine areas, up from 390 a day earlier. EIGHT MORE DEAD Eight people with COVID-19 died in Shanghai on Wednesday, authorities said, bringing the death toll from the current outbreak to 25 — all recorded in the past four days. However, many residents have said a family member had died after contracting COVID-19 since early March, but cases were not included in official statistics, raising doubts about its accuracy. The Shanghai government has not responded to questions about the death toll. State media reported Thursday that the Shanghai government was investigating three funeral home officials for refusing to provide funeral services using COVID as an excuse. Shanghai ordered virtually all residents to stay at home in early April after the number of COVID-19 cases began to rise. Residents have faced loss of income, difficulty getting food, family separations and poor quarantine conditions. With public outcry mounting, city officials said Thursday they will investigate complaints from residents about the quality and expiration dates of products such as duck meat and cooking oil that come in government ration packs. Businesses are starting to reopen, although they are required to operate under “closed loop management,” meaning they live on-site, test daily and thoroughly disinfect. US electric car maker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc is among the 666 companies allowed to resume operations, and the reopening received generous airtime on state media this week. However, industry authorities warn that factories are facing logistical nightmares and are far from resuming full production.

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