China announces largest city-wide lockdown over new COVID-19 outbreak

Empty street of China
China lockdown

Since the Covid outbreak began more than two years ago, China has announced its largest city-wide lockdown.

Shanghai will be shut down in two parts over the course of nine days while authorities conduct Covid-19 testing.

Although case numbers are low by worldwide standards, the key financial centre has been fighting a new wave of illnesses for nearly a month.

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To avoid economic instability, authorities have so far refrained from shutting down the city of 25 million people.

However, authorities appear to have reversed tactics when Shanghai registered the greatest daily number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic on Saturday.

The lockdown will take place in two parts, with limitations in place on the eastern half of the city from Monday to 1 April and on the western side from 1-5 April.

Authorities have said that public transportation would be suspended, and businesses and factories will be forced to shut down or work remotely.

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On its WeChat account, the local government issued the instructions, asking the people to “support, understand, and cooperate with the city’s epidemic prevention and control operation.”

During the epidemic, other lockdowns covered entire Chinese provinces, though people were often able to travel within those areas. Shanghai, however, is the largest single city to be closed down to date because to its tremendous population density.

It is China’s business center and, by some estimates, the country’s largest metropolis, but it is currently one of the worst-affected locations as China battles a comeback of the virus with Omicron, which has resulted in an increase in new cases.

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Officials have previously stated that the eastern Chinese port and financial hub needed to continue operating for the sake of the economy. Because of the staggered nature of the lockdown, half of the city will stay operational at any given moment.

Hundreds of millions of people in other Chinese cities have been affected.

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