BEIJING — China’s largest city of Shanghai will soon begin lifting lockdown in communities that report no positive cases within 14 days after another round of COVID-19 testing, authorities said Saturday.
On Saturday the city received reports of 23,000 new cases. Most of these were asymptomatic. Since March 28, large areas of Shanghai with 26 million people have been in lockdown. Residents are complaining about the lack of basic food and water.
According to CCTV, Guangzhou officials announced separately that they would mass test 18 million people in the northwest part of Hong Kong. On Friday, there were only two cases of confirmed infection in the city.
Under the new measures, areas in Shanghai will be classified as “precautionary,” “controlled” on “locked down,” depending on the results of the latest round of testing, Shanghai Vice Mayor Zong Ming told a news conference.
Residents in areas deemed to be “precautionary” with no infections within the last two weeks will be able to move around their district, although gatherings will still be restricted. Meanwhile, in “controlled” areas, residents can move around in their neighborhoods, which are smaller than districts, while “locked down” areas will require everyone to stay at home.
Zong choked with emotion as she spoke out about how touched and moved she was by the work of front-line workers and residents. “There is still a big gap from everyone’s expectations. We will do our best to improve it,” she said.
Over 100 hospitals have been built in the city to provide COVID-19 treatment.
But the harsh restrictions on movement have also tested residents’ patience. Many residents have been sent food packs from government agencies that include meats and vegetables. However, most are finding it difficult to get rice and other essentials, as online vendors have closed and delivery services cannot keep up with the demand.
China faces one of the worst outbreaks in its history since the pandemic.
It is one of the only countries sticking to a “zero COVID” policy, taking drastic measures such as lockdowns and mass testing to identify and isolate every single case. Despite the fact that most people around the globe have sought to avoid the virus, China continues to block international travel from China.
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