Shanghai Slowly Turning the Corner from Strict COVID-19 Lockdown
By VOA News April 20, 2022
Authorities in the Chinese financial hub, Shanghai, released another 4 million people from its strict COVID-19 lockdown rules as part of the city's efforts to restore its economic activity.
Officials announced seven new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, bringing the death toll from the current outbreak to 17, although those numbers have been questioned by international health officials. China's second-largest city also reported more than 18,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
Shanghai's 26 million residents have been ordered to remain in their homes since early April in response to the surge of new COVID-19 infections largely driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.
The breakthrough of new COVID-19 cases in China is happening despite Beijing's official "zero COVID" strategy that aims to completely eliminate coronavirus outbreaks across the mainland.
The lockdown has led to growing complaints online of a lack of fresh food, especially vegetables, with grocery stores closed and residents unable to obtain food deliveries through online apps. The anger has led to an unusual amount of public protests, including one where residents screamed in unison from the open windows of their high-rise apartments that was caught on video and went viral on social media.
A total of 12 million Shanghai residents have been given permission to venture outside their homes since authorities introduced guidelines last week that allows movement in neighborhoods with no recorded cases over the past 14 days.
Some factories in Shanghai are slowly resuming operations, including electric car company Tesla, which restarted production Tuesday after being idled for about three weeks. More than 600 firms are on a list of key industries and companies that have been allowed to either resume or keep their operations running.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.
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