Cowid-19 cases have risen again in Shanghai, China’s largest city, as millions of people remain homeless under a massive lockdown.
On Sunday, health officials said they had identified 438 confirmed cases, including 7,788 asymptomatic cases in the last 24 hours. Both figures were slightly higher than the previous day.
Although small in some countries, the number of daily cases is the largest since the virus was first identified in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.
A two-stage lockdown began last week with Shanghai’s 26 million people, residents of East Pudong Division were due to be allowed to leave their homes on Friday, while their neighbors in the West Puxi Division had exceeded their own four-day isolation period.
Despite those assurances, millions of people in Pudong are confined to their homes amid complaints about food supplies and the availability of medicines and health services.
Residents’ notices said they would have to self-test for Covid-19 every day and take precautions, including wearing masks at home and avoiding contact with family members – these measures have not been widely applied since the first day of the epidemic.
A city official apologized last week in response to allegations of government lockdown management, and a vice premier made extensive demands for improvement during a visit to Shanghai on Saturday.
Sun Chunlan, who sits in the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, called for “firm and swift action to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Shanghai as soon as possible,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
However, Sun insisted on “unwavering adherence” to China’s radical “zero-covid” approach, forcing lockdowns, forcibly dismissing all suspected cases, and conducting mass investigations, even acknowledging social and economic harm.
“Fighting the Omicron variant while maintaining the normal functioning of key functions in a megacity is a daunting task and a huge challenge,” Sun said.
He called for ensuring “basic human living conditions and normal medical needs” as well as safeguarding the functioning of key industries and establishments and supply and industry chains in commercial centers.
State media reports indicate that Chinese President Xi Jinping is continuing to push for tougher measures, in which Thammam seeks to avoid further damage to the economy and to ensure overall stability ahead of a major party congress expected in November.