Shanghai residents struggle with chaotic COVID-19 lockdown

Coronavirus

(NewsNation) — Shanghai has been on coronavirus lockdown for 15 days, and there’s no clear end in sight.

China’s largest city has seen thousands of new cases each day. Leaders are trying to manage and mitigate the surge under its “zero COVID” policy. The strict measure includes a complete lockdown and mass testing to identify and isolate every single case.

The city reported more than 26,000 cases on Sunday, most of them asymptomatic. With a population of 26 million, Shanghai has been under lockdown since March 28, leading to complaints from residents about shortages of food and basic necessities.

A glimmer of hope for residents came this weekend when officials announced it will begin lifting lockdown restrictions in communities that report no positive cases within 14 days of testing.

Under the new measures, areas in Shanghai will be classified as “precautionary,” “controlled” and “locked down,” depending on the results of the latest round of testing, Shanghai Vice Mayor Zong Ming said.

Residents in areas deemed to be “precautionary” with no infections within the last two weeks will be able to move around their district, although gatherings will still be restricted. Meanwhile, in “controlled” areas, residents can move around in their neighborhoods, while “locked down” areas will require everyone to stay at home.

Dr. Fahmi Farah, a cardiologist with Bentley Heart Medical Center, said Shanghai’s new omicron BA.2 variant is highly contagious and warned it could make its way to the United States in the coming weeks.

“There’s a lag, usually a couple of weeks to a month, usually we see it in the U.K. and then here it is in the U.S.,” she said. “I am pretty sure we are going to see it here in the U.S. as well, judging by the course and the trend that we’ve seen over the last two years.”

Farah says Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown to be more effective than China’s, even though the strain has been proven to not be as deadly.

The United States is experiencing an uptick in infections as Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor, blamed it on reduced COVID-19 mitigation measures.

To make matters even worse, Shanghai’s lockdown is disastrous to the global economy. Apple, Tesla, Volkswagen and several other factories in Shanghai have been shut down since March 28.

“Sleep apnea machines have been out for months now, I have many patients who are just waiting on supplies, and they can’t provide it because we dependent on the global market,” Farah said. “And China, is such a major hub in terms of providing supplies in terms of medical and everything else.”

Companies like Tesla say they are increasing production at other factories to make up for the loss in China. The continued lockdown is expected to increase costs, cause delays and advance supply chain issues.

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