BEIJING (AP) — China has sent more than 10,000 health workers from across the country to Shanghai, including 2,000 from the military, as it struggles to eradicate a fast-spreading epidemic in its largest city in the as part of its zero COVID strategy.
Shanghai was carrying out a mass test of its 25 million people on Monday as what had been announced as a two-phase lockdown entered its second week. Most of eastern Shanghai, which was due to reopen last Friday, remained closed along with the western half of the city.
While many factories and financial firms have been allowed to continue operating if they isolate their workers, concern has been growing over the potential economic impact of a prolonged lockdown in China’s financial capital, a major shipping hub and Manufacturing.
The highly contagious omicron BA.2 form of the virus is testing China’s ability to maintain its zero-COVID approach, which aims to prevent the spread of epidemics by isolating everyone who tests positive, whether they have symptoms or not. . Shanghai has converted an exhibition hall and other facilities into massive isolation centers where people with mild or no symptoms are accommodated in a sea of beds separated by temporary partitions.
China on Monday reported more than 13,000 new cases nationwide in the past 24 hours, of which nearly 12,000 were asymptomatic. About 9,000 of the cases were in Shanghai. The other big outbreak is in northeast China’s Jilin province, where new cases have topped 3,500.
Shanghai’s lockdown has prompted numerous complaints, ranging from food shortages to limited staff and facilities at hastily built isolation sites. Some people who tested positive stayed home for long periods due to a lack of isolation beds or transportation to get them to a center, the economic news publication Caixin said.
Asked about the anxiety of parents separated from their children, Shanghai health commission official Wu Qianyu said on Monday that they should be separated if the child tested positive and the parent tested negative, according to the newspaper. Paper line.
If both tests are positive, the parent is allowed to stay with the child in a children’s isolation site and receive any treatment there, Wu said at a press conference on Monday.
The China Daily newspaper reported that nearly 15,000 medical workers from neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces left for Shanghai early Monday from their hospitals by bus. More than 2,000 members of the army, navy and a joint logistics support force arrived on Sunday, a Chinese military newspaper said.
At least four other provinces have also dispatched doctors, nurses and other medical workers to Shanghai, Chinese daily China Daily reported.
Workers in blue protective clothing held up signs reading “Keep a distance of one meter” and “Don’t rush” as people lined up for testing in a part of western Shanghai. The tests were carried out in batches, 10 people at a time. If the sample comes back positive, all 10 are tested individually.
While most stores and other businesses in Shanghai are closed, major manufacturers, including automakers General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, say their factories are still operating. VW has reduced production due to a supply disruption the rooms.
Companies that operate apply “closed loop” strategies that isolate employees. Thousands of stock traders and others in financial industries are asleep in their offices, according to the Daily Economic News.
According to a survey conducted last week by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the American Chamber of Commerce in China, three out of five foreign companies operating in Shanghai say they have lowered their sales forecasts for this year. A third of the 120 companies that responded to the survey said they had delayed their investments.
Shanghai has set up temporary vegetable warehouses to boost supply, and an online grocery delivery service has doubled staff at one of its warehouses to try to keep up with demand, the agency said. Xinhua official press. City officials have apologized for the government’s handling of the lockdown.
Associated Press researcher Chen Si in Shanghai and business writer Joe McDonald and researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.