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Global Times

Shanghai insists on dynamic zero-COVID, denies 'citywide lockdown' rumors

Global Times

By Yu Xi Published: Mar 23, 2022 01:55 PM

Shanghai began a new round of nucleic acid testing for key regions from Wednesday to Thursday within a much narrower scope under the targeted preventive measures for COVID-19, as the city struggles with its "toughest" fight against COVID-19 since the epidemic battle entered into a normalization stage.

The local authority has emphasized precise management to control the virus spread, while dismissing rumors that the city implemented a lockdown.

Shanghai indeed faces the severest and complex challenge since epidemic prevention and control began on a regular basis, Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said at Wednesday's press conference.

Shanghai on Tuesday reported four local COVID-19 cases and 977 local asymptomatic infections, while has maintained 15 medium-risk regions, according to local health commission.

Among the four confirmed cases, three were detected under the closed-loop mechanism. Among the 977 silent carriers, 886 were detected under the closed-loop mechanism.

The city has conducted a new round of survey based on the previous screening results and the regions under closed-loop management have been narrowed down, Wu Fan, deputy dean of the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University and also a leading expert with Shanghai's COVID-19 medical team, explained at the press briefing.

Once some residents in targeted areas are notified to take nucleic acid tests, it may make people in non-targeted areas believe that they need to do so. However, it is misinformation, Wu explained about rumors that claim an increasing number of people were put under closed management.

Shanghai has renovated two indoor stadiums as quarantine sites for mild COVID-19 cases and asymptomatic carriers. For close contacts, 14 days of centralized observation and seven days of self-health management will be required, and seven nucleic acid tests will be conducted during this period, according to the authorities.

After the latest round of nucleic acid screening in key and non-key areas, a number of communities were released from closed-loop management after they met the requirements.

"My residential community was under closed-loop management for two days, but we were free to move after the nucleic acid screening was normal," a 36-year-old woman surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The topic of "purchase food in Shanghai" also became a trending topic on Chinese social media. Several food purchasing online platforms said on Wednesday that there is abundant food supply, but there is a shortage of delivery people. In order to tackle this problem, some platforms relocated their employees from other cities to help, and also hired volunteers.

As COVID-19 cases in Shanghai keep climbing, there are also rumors that the city is going to lock down to stamp off the virus spread.

Two residents surnamed Zhang and Yu, who spread false information such as "Shanghai is going to be locked down for seven days," were put under investigation by Shanghai police on suspicion of fabricating and deliberately spreading false information, and the investigation is continuing, Shanghai police said on Wednesday.

Wu Jinglei also said that the city insists on a scientific, targeted and dynamic zero-COVID policy, focusing on the improvement of weaknesses found during epidemic prevention and control.

Many local residents also said that they did not feel panic, and expressed understanding toward the fight against the virus.

Hashtag "Shanghai lockdown is rumor" gained over 170 million clicks on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo as of press time.

"Indeed, our daily lives have been affected due to this round of the epidemic in varying degrees; but the entire city's residents are fighting together," one netizen wrote. "We hope Shanghai can defeat the virus as soon as possible."

"We still insist on working at the hospital every day. We don't gather together and basically follow the routes from home to work each day," a worker at a local hospital told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Wednesday. "Many colleagues have been community volunteers and actively face all challenges."

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