Beijing (Times Of Ocean)- The number of COVID19 cases in China’s largest city of Shanghai has risen again, as millions of people remain confined to their homes under sweeping lockdowns.
A total of 438 confirmed cases and 7,788 asymptomatic cases were reported on Sunday by health officials. These figures increased slightly from the day before.
Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China has seen some of the highest daily case numbers.
Even though the number of daily cases is small by the standards of some countries, the number of cases is among the highest since the virus was first discovered in Wuhan in late 2019.
Beijing, with its 26 million people, last week began a two-stage lockdown. Residents of the eastern Pudong section were allowed to leave their homes on Friday, but their neighbors in the western Puxi section were isolated for four days.
In Pudong, millions remain confined to their homes despite assurances that food would be delivered and medications would be available.
The city sent notices to residents telling them to self-test for COVID19 daily and to take precautions including wearing masks at home and avoiding contact with family members – measures not widely enforced since the beginning of the pandemic.
The city official apologized last week for the government’s handling of the lockdown, and the vice premier made sweeping demands for improvements during his tour of Shanghai on Saturday.
Sun Chunlan, who serves on the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, has urged “resolute and swift measures” to stem the spread of COVID19 in Shanghai as soon as possible, the official Xinhua News Agency reports.
Sun, however, emphasised China’s “unwavering adherence” to its zero-covid approach, mandating lockdowns, forced isolation of all suspected cases, and mass testing, despite acknowledging the economic and social toll it is taking.
“It is an arduous task and huge challenge to combat the omicron variant while maintaining the normal operation of core functions in a megacity,” Sun said.
Besides safeguarding key industries and institutions and ensuring the functioning of supply chains and industrial chains within the commercial hub, she also suggested ensuring the “basic needs of people”.
According to official media reports, China’s president Xi Jinping is directing the country’s continuing tough approach, hoping to prevent further damage to its sputtering economy and ensure overall stability before a crucial party congress expected in November.