China: Shanghai to impose phased Covid-19 lockdown to curb pandemic outbreak
Beijing, Mar 28: China's financial hub Shanghai will be put under a phased lockdown from today to curb the Covid-19 outbreak caused by a highly transmissible Omicron variant that has hit China with its highest caseloads since the early days of the pandemic. State media quoting officials reported China's biggest city will lock down its eastern half from Monday until Friday, followed by a similar lockdown of its western side beginning on 1 April.
The metropolis of 25 million people has in recent days become the leading hotspot in a nationwide outbreak that began to gain pace in early March. China's National Health Commission yesterday reported more than 5700 new COVID-19 cases with Shanghai reporting 3500 new cases. Millions of residents in affected areas across the country have been subjected to citywide lockdowns.
Shanghai, however, had thus far avoided a full lockdown, but this ongoing Omicron surge has put the Zero-COVID policy under severe strain. Public transport, including ride-hailing services, in these areas, will be suspended when they are locked down, the city government said on its official WeChat account, adding that unapproved vehicles will not be allowed on the roads. It also said that all companies and factories will suspend manufacturing or work remotely during the lockdown, apart from those involved in offering public services or supplying food.