Shanghai Sanitary Board Inspector Vu Ganyu reported that after the gradual lifting of restrictions last week, the regions with approximately 4 million people have changed from ‘closed’ status to ‘control’ status since the beginning of this week.
Mentioning that the epidemic was “effectively brought under control” for the first time in a part of the city, Vu stated that the population living in the “control” and “prevention” regions, where there is freedom of curfew, reached approximately 12 million .
According to the 3-stage epidemic defense system implemented in Shanghai, the settlements where positive events have been detected in the last 7 days are called ‘closed control zones’ and the curfew continues to be applied here.
Those living in the settlements, which are called the ‘control zone’ and where no incidents have been detected in the last 7 days, can leave their homes, but cannot walk outside their areas, and collective activities are not allowed here.
Settlements with no incidents in the last 14 days are called ‘prevention zones’ and residents can leave their homes and wander around low-risk areas.
In the last 24 hours in Shanghai, 82 cases showing signs of illness and 37 cases not showing were detected, 1 person died. No new incidents were found in the city, except for the quarantine zones.
The city administration announced on May 17 that the goal of ‘social zero Covid’ had been reached in all 16 districts, where intra-community spread had ceased, except in areas where quarantined and closed-circuit epidemic containment measures were implemented.
The shutdown, which started on March 28 due to the epidemic triggered by the events carrying the Omicron variant in Shanghai, was extended for an indefinite period as the events did not decrease.
It is aimed to “return to normal” by removing all restrictions in the city at the beginning of June.
MEASURES CONTINUE IN BEIJING AND OTHER CITIES
In the capital Beijing, the measures implemented due to the Covid-19 epidemic caused by locally-sourced events carrying the Omicron variant, which was seen for the first time on April 22, continue. In the last 24 hours, 50 cases showing signs of disease and 5 cases without symptoms were detected in the city.
All over the city, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools continue to provide online education, while restaurants only offer ordering services. Sports halls, cinemas and other indoor entertainment centers are closed for an indefinite period of time.
While public transportation and taxi services were stopped in some areas in Chaoyang, Shunyi, Fangshan and Fingtay counties where the cases were seen, citizens were advised not to leave their areas.
In the metropolis with a population of more than 21 million, measures are being continued due to the worry caused by the possibility of spreading, which will require a closure similar to the one in Shanghai.
Apart from Shanghai and Beijing, restrictions are also applied in other cities with large populations such as Changchun, Jilin, Xinyang, Tianjin, Xinjin and Gaungcou, which are home to critical industries and business lines.
1082 CASE IN THE MAINLAND
In the statement made by the National Health Committee, 212 cases showing signs of disease and 870 cases without symptoms were detected in mainland China in the last 24 hours, and it was reported that 66 of the incidents in question were of foreign origin.
In the mainland of China, where the first incidents occurred in the Covid-19 epidemic, 222 thousand 582 incidents have been detected so far, 5 thousand 218 people have died.
In the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the effect of the 5th wave, caused by local events due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19, continues to decrease.
According to the statement made by the Health Protection Center, 329 Covid-19 incidents, 31 of which originated from abroad, were detected in the city in the last 24 hours, and 4 people died.
The number of daily events in the city, which reached over 20 thousand in March, has been below 1000 for more than a month.
In Hong Kong, which has a population of approximately 7.6 million, 1 million 209 thousand 397 events have been seen so far, 9 thousand 364 people lost their lives.
OMICRON EVENTS TURNED A CHALLENGE FOR ‘ZERO CASE’ STRATEGY
The picture revealed by the highly contagious Omicron variant has turned into a test for China’s ‘zero case’ strategy against Covid-19.
The strategy, which aims to suppress Covid-19 events where they arise and cut the chain of transmission, requires strict and large-scale measures such as quarantine, travel restrictions and mass testing. The measures sometimes cause controversy in terms of their interference in the normal flow of life and their cost.
It remains unclear how China will adapt its strategy of effort over time, while other countries have largely removed their containment measures against Covid-19 and become normal.