China announces largest city-wide lockdown since 2020

4/2/2022 4:38:12 PM
 Shanghai locked down
China has announced its largest city-wide quarantine since the COVID outbreak that began more than two years ago.

The city of Shanghai will be locked down in two stages over nine days while COVID-19 testing is carried out. The lockdown includes suspension of transportation and stopping work in some factories. 

The important financial hub has battled a new wave of infections for nearly a month, although case numbers are not high by some international standards. Authorities had so far resisted locking down the city of some 25 million people to avoid destabilizing the economy.

But after Shanghai recorded its highest daily number of cases on Saturday since the early days of the pandemic, authorities appear to have changed course.

The lockdown will happen in two stages, with the eastern side of the city under restrictions from Monday until 1 April, and the western side from 1-5 April.

The city government published the instructions on its WeChat account, asking the public "to support, understand and cooperate with the city's epidemic prevention and control work".

It is China's commercial capital and by some calculations the biggest city in the country - but is now one of the worst-hit areas as China fights to contain a resurgence of the virus with Omicron, leading to a spike in new cases.

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