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Extended COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai sends panic

Posted April. 05, 2022 07:51,   

Updated April. 05, 2022 07:51


Extended COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai, the economic capital of China, is sending its citizens in panic. Further disruption in logistics is also expected as the number of ships waiting to load or discharge at Shanghai’s port has soared to more than 300 since the lockdown, according to CNN. As the lockdown continues, Tesla, which was forced to suspend production on last Monday, is likely to idle its production in Shanghai for the time being. It is the longest suspension of production since Tesla started its operation in the city in late 2019.

According to National Health Commission of China on Monday, 13,137 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the country on the previous day, approaching its all-time high of 15,152 on Feb. 12, 2020. Shanghai reported 9,006 daily COVID-19 cases on the same day. Shanghai still remains in lockdown although city officials initially said the city will be placed under lockdown until Monday.

Rumors are spreading as the citizens of Shanghai are increasingly experiencing anxiety. News and video spread fast on Weibo on Sunday that a child infected with COVID-19 died at a hospital in Shanghai after not being treated. In the video, medical staff is approaching a child lying on a bed and shouts of someone who appears to be the parents’ screams can be heard outside the camera.

The Shanghai Municipal Health Commission issued an unusual statement that night, officially clarifying that the child, who lost consciousness due to high fever, was offered emergency treatment at the Fudan University Hospital in Shanghai, adding that the child regained consciousness and the parents later apologized to the medical staff. Other rumors also spread that a company supplying vegetables had to discard piles of vegetables and the Port of Shanghai, the largest port in container throughput, will soon be closed. Despite the city authorities’ explanation that the rumors are not true, the citizens, who are having increasing levels of distrust of the government, do not seem to believe in them. The city of Shanghai has already lost the trust of its citizens as it began a lockdown on last Monday, the next day after it had announced that there would be no lockdown.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com