On Monday, millions of people in China’s financial hub were confined to their homes as the city’s eastern half was placed under lockdown to combat the country’s largest continuing Covid-19 epidemic.
Residents who had grown frustrated with officials’ inability to put an end to the outbreak despite nearly three weeks of increasingly disruptive measures flocked to grocery stores after the announcement was made late Sunday.
Authorities have placed the city of about 25 million people under a two-phase lockdown in order to conduct mass testing.
To keep Shanghai’s economy operating, the authorities avoided the harsh lockdowns used in other Chinese cities, instead opting for gradual localised lockdowns.
However, Shanghai has become China’s Covid hotspot in recent weeks, with 3,500 new confirmed cases recorded in the city on Monday, setting a new record.
The enormous eastern neighbourhood of Pudong, which includes the main international airport and glitzy financial centre, was shut down on Monday.
The lockdown will run until Friday, after which it will be extended to the more populated western Puxi area, which includes the historic Bund riverfront.
The administration stated that actions were being taken “as soon as feasible” to eradicate diseases.
Many residents have been upset by repeated brief confinements at home as a result of the unpredictably implemented neighborhood-level measures in recent weeks.
Some people protested on Monday that the new, larger lockdown was announced with only a few hours’ notice.
“We have a lot of questions about Shanghai’s management and control mechanisms. There has been some inconsistency, to be sure “As he waited in line to buy groceries, a 59-year-old man who only gave his surname Cao stated.
“After all this time, (the city) still can’t manage the infection, and the numbers continue to rise.”
The government has not stated what effect the shutdown will have on Shanghai’s main international airport or its busy seaport.