Tighter Curbs in Shanghai Even as COVID Cases Fall

Shanghai reported its fewest Covid-19 cases in more than six weeks, though a tightening of curbs indicates the lockdown that has confined millions of residents to their homes for more than a month won’t be eased soon.

CCTV reports that 3,947 new cases were reported by the financial hub on Sunday. This is slightly lower than 3,975 infections reported Saturday.

On the weekend, Premier Li Keqiang warned of a “complicated and grave” employment situation as Beijing and Shanghai bolstered restrictions on residents in a bid to contain virus outbreaks in China’s most important cities — in line with President Xi Jinping’s stringent Covid Zero policy.

Li instructed all government departments and regions to prioritize measures aimed at helping businesses retain jobs and weather the current difficulties, according to a statement late Saturday, which cited the premier’s comments in a nationwide teleconference on employment.

Continue reading: Global Shortages Loom as China’s Lockdowns Continue

Authorities in Shanghai are intensifying efforts to quarantine people with the virus, even though the COVID wave is slowing down.

According to social media postings and local residents, confirmed cases living in the same house as others could now be transported to quarantine facilities run by government officials. In the past, people who lived in the same building as positive cases were considered to be close friends and would often be isolated.

In Beijing, officials on Sunday required all residents in its eastern district of Chaoyang — home to embassies and offices of multinationals including Apple Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. — to start working from home. To reduce infections, officials ordered the closing of some non-essential businesses such as movie theatres and gyms within the area.

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