China’s economic centre Shanghai on Monday reported the first deaths of the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as 2,417 local confirmed coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours as per ANI.
Three persons died, ages 89 to 91, all of whom had underlying conditions.
Three people, who died were aged between 89 and 91 and all had underlying diseases. “Shanghai registered 2,417 local confirmed COVID19 cases and 19,831 local asymptomatic carriers on Sunday when three deaths were reported, who are seniors aged between 89 and 91, with severe underlying disease,” Global Times said in a Tweet.
According to the city health authority, Shanghai has recorded 3,238 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours.
According to Xinhua News Agency, the city also registered 21,582 local asymptomatic carriers within that time period, according to the commission.
Cities throughout China are locking down their citizens, supply lines are bursting, and officials are trying to ensure the transportation of essential items as the country’s greatest ever recorded epidemic of COVID-19 threatens to escalate into a government-caused national disaster.
According to a report from investment firm Nomura and CNN’s own reporting as of Thursday, at least 44 Chinese cities are under full or partial lockdown as officials continue to try to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Scenes long unfathomable for the hyper-modern financial metropolis have become part of the everyday struggle for 25 million people in Shanghai, the epicentre of the country’s current pandemic.
Residents who have been unable to leave the confines of their homes or housing complexes for weeks have been eager for food and freedom, with some seen yelling out their windows in exasperation or battling with hazmat-clad personnel in social media footage. Even with the introduction of a preliminary plan for partial easing of sanctions on Monday, there appears to be no end in sight, according to CNN.
The current crisis may represent the country’s – and, possibly, Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s – most major threat to the zero-covid policy. Since March 1, more than 320,000 local COVID-19 cases had been registered across 31 provinces, including those in Shanghai, according to health officials on Tuesday.
Getting supplies across the country has become a steep challenge, with some expressways closed, and truck drivers ensnared in quarantine or at thousands of highway health checkpoints.
Some cities have deterred inhabitants from leaving, such as Guangzhou, a major southern port that needs its 18 million residents to submit a negative COVID test if they wish to leave. Furthermore, the zero-covid policy has created growing frustration and fury in Shanghai, threatening further disturbance and heightening the Communist Party’s vulnerabilities.
“Economic slowdown is quite a big concern,” said Alfred Wu, an associate professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.