7 more COVID deaths in Shanghai as coronavirus situation remains grim
Beijing, Apr 19: Shanghai reported seven more deaths due to COVID-19 as the Chinese financial hub grapples with a record outbreak, taking the total death toll in the country to 4,648 with over 21,400 new cases, most of them from the city.
Seven new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Monday in Shanghai in addition to the three a day earlier, the first in the recent outbreak, taking the total death toll in the country due to coronavirus since it emerged in Wuhan in 2019 to 4,648, according to figures released by China's National Health Commission on Tuesday.
The late surge of Omicron variant of the coronavirus in China continues unabated as the country has reported 3,297 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 3,084 were in Shanghai.
Apart from Shanghai, 18 other provincial-level regions on the mainland saw new local COVID-19 cases, including 88 in the northeastern province of Jilin, the Commission report said.
Shanghai also reported 17,332 locally-transmitted asymptomatic infections of the COVID-19 out of a total of 18,187 local asymptomatic carriers newly identified on the mainland, it said.
Currently, China has 30,384 people undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, as the Omicron continued to spread, China's health minister Ma Xiaowei on Monday pledged the toughest measures yet to prevent a major outbreak of COVID-19, ruling out any relaxations ahead of this year's 20th Communist Party Congress.
The once-in-five-year Congress of the CPC which is due to be held later this year has assumed significance as Xi, 68, is expected to get its endorsement for a third five-year tenure as the head of the Party, the military and the presidency.
The 3rd term is unprecedented as all his predecessors retired following the two-term norm for leaders. However, Xi is expected to continue power for life as he is conferred the title of a "core leader" like the Party founder Mao Zedong.
Vowing to continue the much-criticised Zero COVID policy, Ma in a front-page article published on Monday in party journal Study Times, urged the country to stick to the dynamic zero policy and take a clear-cut stand against erroneous thoughts of coexisting with the virus.
The bottom line is to prevent a large-scale rebound in cases and consolidate the hard-won results of pandemic control to welcome the opening of the CPC Congress, he said.
The Omicron mutant strain is highly contagious and can produce a large number of infected people in a short period of time, triggering a rapid increase in the demand for resources for epidemic prevention and control, Ma wrote.
The lack of isolation facilities is the most prominent problem. It is impossible to talk about an effective response to the Omicron epidemic without solving the problem of isolation, or the healthcare system providing continuous and stable daily medical services for the public without isolating the asymptomatic mildly-ill patients in makeshift hospitals, he said.