COVID-19 recovery | China confines millions of people

(Shanghai) Several million people were quarantined Wednesday in China, due to the epidemic recovery raising fears of a return to restrictions, particularly in Shanghai, after a month of lifting the long and burdensome confinement.

Posted at 6:37
Updated at 9:14 am.

Vivian LIN with Beiyi SEOW in Beijing
France media agency

China’s largest city has been put under a bell for two months in the spring to stem the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the country since the start of the pandemic.

A particularly severe restriction of economic capital has been a test for its 25 million residents, who have problems sourcing fresh produce.

Strict measures to combat the virus, including the systematic deposit of positive cases in quarantine centers, have aroused the discontent of residents.

Shanghai raised 1Verse Most restrictions are in June, but some neighborhoods have been temporarily confined after sporadic cases were discovered.

Since Sunday, a rebound has been observed and Shanghai reported 24 additional cases on Wednesday.

To identify contact cases, most regions have launched screening tests.

“I don’t really want to do it, it’s useless,” resident Alice Chan told AFP, but she was determined to do so, fearing her health would turn red.

“People are no longer afraid of COVID-19, they are afraid to be locked up at home,” said Yao, who is from Shanghai who declined to give his last name.

air deja vu

Authorities said Shanghai closed all of its karaoke bars on Wednesday, in connection with some cases of COVID-19.

Five weeks after the difficult confinement was lifted, some residents fear a return to stricter restrictions.

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The anxiety was exacerbated by some families receiving rations, according to messages that were widely circulated on social networks.

“Putuo District (in central Shanghai, editor’s note) sends vegetables back,” one resident wrote in WeChat messages.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reported nearly 300 new cases nationwide.

The main affected area is eastern Anhui Province, where 1.7 million people are located in two rural towns that are currently confined.

More than a thousand cases have been identified there since last week, with the infection now spreading to neighboring (east) Jiangsu Province, which borders Shanghai and an important industrial area.

The Omicron variant remains a “major problem for the Chinese economy,” warns Nomura economist Ting Lu.

” On probation ”

China is one of the latest countries to implement the “zero COVID-19” strategy in the face of the epidemic. This health policy consists of extensive testing, mandatory quarantine in the event of a positive PCR test, and targeted confinement.

These measures are deemed healthily necessary by the authorities, and penalize activity with many businesses closed or operating idle.

According to Nomura Bank estimates, at least 114 million Chinese are subject to various travel restrictions, including travel restrictions. They were 66 million a week ago.

The large city of Xi’an (north) is also re-imposing “control measures”, after the outbreak of Omicron disease linked to sub-line BA.5.2, according to local health authorities.

This strain is said to be more contagious but less virulent.

Restaurants, bars, places of worship and even karaoke are closed preemptively for a week in the capital of 13 million people.

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The city of Xi’an, a former imperial capital, is famous throughout the world for its terracotta-buried army of the first emperor of China.

The BA.5.2 variant was also detected in Beijing, where on Wednesday the authorities deemed the epidemic “under control”.

However, the capital is strengthening its health measures: from July 11, libraries, museums and cinemas will be available only to people who have been vaccinated.

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