SHANGHAI: Shanghai reported nearly 25,000 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections on Sunday (April 10) and sought to assure locked-down residents of China’s most populous city that bottlenecks affecting the availability of food and other items would be mitigated.
The streets have remained largely silent in the city of 26 million as restrictions imposed by its ‘zero tolerance’ policy allow only healthcare workers, volunteers, delivery staff or those with authorized special to move freely.
Wang Wenbo, vice president of e-commerce giant JD.com, told the Shanghai daily briefing that the company is focusing on basic food products and childcare items. Xiao Shuixian, senior vice president of Alibaba Group’s Ele.me, said it recruited 2,800 additional delivery workers last week.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Shanghai is low by global standards, but the city is grappling with China’s worst outbreak since the virus emerged in the central city of Wuhan in 2019. Among the local cases reported by Shanghai on Sunday, 1,006 were symptomatic while 23,937 were classified as asymptomatic, which China counts separately.
Shanghai has become a testbed for China’s COVID management strategy in the face of highly infectious Omicron variant as it seeks to centrally test, trace and quarantine all those who test positive, symptomatic or not. , to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The official Xinhua news agency warned on Sunday that a relaxation of China’s “dynamic zero-COVID approach” could be “disastrous”, given the danger the Omicron variant poses to people with medical conditions. underlying, the elderly and unvaccinated.
“China’s medical system would risk collapsing causing huge loss of life if it backed down from epidemic prevention and control,” Xinhua said.
China is sticking to its approach even as other countries seek to live with the virus. Heavy-handed measures such as separating COVID-positive children from their parents — a practice she relaxed last week — have drawn domestic criticism and expressions of concern from diplomats.
Late Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry expressed “strong displeasure” with the United States after raising concerns about China’s coronavirus control measures.