Shanghai COVID-19 lockdown tightens as streets deserted, food shortages reported
COVID-19 measures taken by authorities in China this week have become more stringent and include mass disinfection of homes and preventing those infected from leaving their homes. Authorities in Shanghai have said they will tighten lockdown enforcement, as the pandemic continues in the country’s financial capital. In addition to installing electronic door alarms to prevent those infected from leaving, people are being evacuated en masse to disinfect their homes.
Hundreds of residents have been evicted from their homes to allow for disinfection to take place. These restrictions will extend Shanghai’s lockdown into its fifth week. Shanghai officials said all patients and close contacts infected with the disease will be transferred to a central quarantine facility run by the government. In some of the city’s worst-hit neighborhoods, infection control measures will be reinforced. Residents who have tested negative will likely be forced to move out temporarily as a result of this.
Residents in several provinces have been instructed to keep their front doors open and their pets at home during this time. Photographs posted on social media, showing people with suitcases waiting in line, showed the magnitude of the undertaking. Government propaganda newspaper People’s Daily said on its front page recently that perseverance is winning. The recent crackdown illustrates the lengths to which Chinese authorities are willing to take to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 in Shanghai – regarded as the country’s financial and business hub. Delivery services, grocery store websites, and even government supplies have been impacted by the lockdown extension.
Additionally, Shanghai faces a food shortage, which has thrown Shanghai’s residents for a loop and prompted them to question the anti-COVID-19 strategy. In the absence of better logistics for food and other basics, there is pressure to relax restrictions, but any relaxation will likely lead to the virus spreading – and scenes like the ones in Hong Kong. Civil unrest and chaos are sure to follow either way.