Shanghai screens over 8mn people in new round of Covid tests

Shanghai screens over 8mn people in new round of Covid tests

SHANGHAI: Amid an ongoing nine-day lockdown in Shanghai, more than 8.26 million people were screened in a new round of nucleic acid testing, a health official announced on Tuesday.

Testing took place in areas including those lying to the east of the Huangpu River, which are under temporary closed-off management, Xinhua news agency quoted Wu Qianyu, an official with the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, as saying.

Around 17,000 testing personnel from Shanghai and the surrounding provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang had set up 6,300 test sites in these areas, Wu said. In the last 24 hours, Shanghai reported 96 confirmed locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and 4,381 asymptomatic carriers.

Due to a fresh Covid-19 resurgence since nearly a month now, the lockdown, which is the largest in China since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, came into force on Monday and it will be imposed in two phases.

From 5 a.m. March 28 to 5 a.m. April 1, temporary closed-off management will be enforced in regions lying to the east and south of the Huangpu River, including Pudong and its adjacent areas, to carry out nucleic acid testing.

Then from 3 a.m. on April 1 to 3 a.m. on April 5, similar temporary closed-off management and testing will be launched mainly in urban districts west of the Huangpu River. In affected areas, closed-off management will take place in residential communities and residents will be required to stay indoors, while non-contact delivery of necessities will be allowed.

Besides, all enterprises, except those necessary for ensuring the people’s daily needs and the city’s operation, will run under closed-off management or have their employees work from home.

Meanwhile, services including bus, subway, ferry, taxi and online ride-hailing will be suspended in the areas under closed management. Last week, the Shanghai Disney Resort said it would close until further notice, citing the “current pandemic situation”. The latest measure in Shanghai comes after the entire Jilin province and the technology hub of Shenzhen were placed under lockdowns earlier this month due to a spike in local Covid cases.