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China Reports the First Covid-19 Deaths in Shanghai, After Prolonged Lockdown

The first COVID-19 deaths in China’s most populous and wealthiest city were confirmed on Monday by Shanghai police.

According to municipal Health Commission inspector Wu Ganyu, all three persons who died were older, had underlying conditions like as diabetes and hypertension, and had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“Their ailments worsened after they were admitted to the hospital, and they died when attempts to rescue them failed,” Wu added.

Since the virus was first found in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, China claims that 4,641 individuals have died as a result of the sickness.

While China’s overall immunization rate is approximately 90%, a low percentage among the elderly continues to be a source of worry. According to the most recent data available, just 62 percent of Shanghai residents over the age of 60 had been vaccinated. China, according to some scientists, has to increase that pace before it can safely live with the virus.

The omicron BA.2 strain that is causing the Shanghai outbreak is less fatal than the preceding delta variation, although being extremely infectious. However, China’s low death toll from COVID-19, which is responsible for more than 988,000 deaths in the US, has prompted doubts about how the country’s authoritarian and frequently secretive government records such deaths.

For the third week, the majority of Shanghai’s 25 million citizens have been confined to their homes as China continues to use a “zero-tolerance” approach to contain the outbreak, requiring the isolation of anybody who may be sick.

On Monday, China said that 23,362 persons had tested positive with the virus in the preceding 24 hours, the majority of whom showed no symptoms and were virtually all in Shanghai.

Since late March, the city has reported over 300,000 instances. Shanghai began loosening restrictions last week, despite officials’ warnings that the city’s epidemic is still not under control.

Shanghai, China’s largest port and trading market, seems unprepared for such a mammoth operation.

Thousands of individuals placed under medical observation have been confined in congested institutions where lights are continually on, rubbish bins overflow, food is insufficient, and hot baths are nonexistent, as residents have ran out of food and other daily essentials while experiencing lockdown circumstances.

Anyone who tests positive but has little or no symptoms must stay in a quarantine facility for one week.

Concerns have been raised concerning the government’s tough stance’s economic impact.

In the first three months of 2022, China’s economic growth increased to a still-weak 4.8 percent from a year earlier, as lockdowns curtailed production in major industrial areas. Growth surged from the previous quarter’s 4 percent, according to official figures.

Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor, promised additional investment to stabilize supply chains and offer financial assistance to health professionals and others on the front lines of the epidemic during a meeting on Monday.

Local authorities have consistently approved strict laws, probably for fear of being dismissed or fined if outbreaks in their regions occur, despite the ruling Communist Party’s call for more focused preventative efforts.

Authorities in Wenzhou, where just a few cases have been documented, have approved prizes of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,800) for information about those who fake their health status, according to online news site The Paper.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper is a global reporter for TheOptic, focusing on bringing insights and developments for global breaking news daily. With almost seven years of experience covering topics from all over the world, Brian strives to make sure you stay up-to-date with what's going on in the world.
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