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Shanghai fears further closure. Highly tested even during a heat wave

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After a new sub-variant of the omicron covid-19 strain emerged in Shanghai on July 8, Shanghai authorities have ordered most of the city’s 16 districts to undergo two rounds of testing. This takes place from Tuesday to Thursday.

The highly contagious strain of covid-19 is spreading rapidly around the world. Authorities in China, one of the last countries to take a very strict stance against new covid cases, see it as a major threat, the CNN website says.

New variants have emerged in several Chinese cities, including Beijing, the northeast city of Dalian, and the central city of Xi’an, which have been locked down for seven days due to the epidemic.

Moreover, the increasing number of cases caught the country at a time when temperature records were falling. On Sunday, the temperature in Shanghai rose to 40 degrees. Therefore, mass testing for the presence of coronavirus was particularly difficult for local residents, who often have to wait in line for up to several hours, as well as those who need to be tested.

Photos of workers in protective suits on “ice blocks” are circulating on Chinese social media. At the same time, experts warned those who spent a few hours in the sun with protective clothing against the danger of sunburn.

The number of infections in Shanghai rose in early July, with local officials saying several people had contracted the virus at a karaoke bar. In the past 10 days, the city has reported more than 400 infected, a very high number by Chinese standards.

Local residents are so worried that authorities are about to announce a new shutdown. The last one, which lasted about two months, ended just a few weeks ago, in early June.

However, even after the end of the lockdown, Shanghai has taken relatively drastic measures, including major testing and closure of areas where cases of covid-19 have emerged. Shanghai has designated about 240 areas as moderate to high danger, according to CNN.

According to CNN, authorities have so far denied a sweeping lockdown, but similar statements to some residents surfaced in March, just before authorities had already announced the last two-month shutdown.

On Monday, two local neighborhood committees said residents must “prepare food and medicine at home for 14 days to be safe.” The announcement sparked panic among residents, many of whom feared prolonged isolation in April and May. The curfew at the time led to widespread food shortages and access to medical care was also problematic.

In response to the turmoil, a neighborhood committee official told the Health Times that the proposal aims to prepare residents for a growing epidemic because close contacts of an infected case, as well as secondary contacts, could lead to neighborhood lockdown.

“Well, we will spend our entire lives in fear of food shortages and hoarding daily necessities,” he said in a comment on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform. “It has been going on for over three years, when will it end? How many three years do people have in their life? Enough!” said another.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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