Shanghai announced on Friday that it had effectively controlled China’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak after a month-long lockdown of over 25 million people, with authorities promising to stick to its zero-COVID approach despite growing economic losses.
Since April 22, the amount of new COVID infections in China’s financial hub has been on a “consistent declining trend,” according to vice major Wu Qing.
“At this time, our city’s epidemic prevention and control situation is steadily improving, and the epidemic is effectively under control,” he said at a press conference.
Many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents are still enslaved by the regulations, which have now been in place for a month as part of China’s “zero-COVID” approach to combating COVID.
While community transmission has been “successfully curtailed,” Wu warned that there is a potential for a resurgence, and the city would not abandon its “dynamic clearance” plan.
“We cannot relax, we cannot slack off: persistence is victory,” he said, echoing remarks made late Thursday by the ruling Communist Party’s politburo’s standing committee.
The virus was initially discovered in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. China’s response, which includes mass testing, stringent quarantine, and sweeping lockdowns, puts its stated GDP objective of 5.5 percent this year in jeopardy and has reverberated around the world.
Though 2.3 million Shanghai residents remain in high-risk areas, another 16.67 million live in “prevention zones,” which allow them to leave their homes and roam around their neighborhoods in theory.
Many homeowners, however, have complained that different community officials are enforcing the guidelines differently, with some individuals in “prevention zones” being unable to leave despite the fact that their area has had no positive instances for weeks.
On Friday, a huge compound in Shanghai’s Changning neighborhood declared that it was loosening limits within the compound and reducing the number of volunteers assisting with food delivery. However, its people were still unable to leave due to the barred gates.
On May 5, Shanghai reported 4,024 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, down from 4,390 the day before. The number of confirmed symptomatic cases was 245, down from 261 the day before. The number of deaths dropped to 12 from 13 the day before.