- Shanghai, a city of 26 million people on the southeastern coast of China, is a hub for finance and international business in the country.
- Municipal authorities ordered half of the city to lock down for mass virus testing from Monday to Friday morning.
- Shanghai International Port Group, which manages the city’s ports, said in an online statement Monday production units generally maintained 24-hour operations.
BEIJING — On Monday, Shanghai, the largest city in China, went into a two-stage lockdown as officials tried various tactics to preserve growth while attempting to manage the nation’s worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic started.
Shanghai, a 26 million-person city on China’s southeast coast, serves as the nation’s financial and commercial center. The biggest container-shipping port in the world is located in the city.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange is still open for business. On Sunday night, the exchange declared that stock issuance applications and other paperwork may be completed online with the appropriate deadline extensions.
The city of Shanghai declared a citywide lockdown on Sunday night, ordering people to work from home and suspending taxi hailing and public transportation. Only few communities had previously experienced brief lockdowns to contain disease hotspots.
According to the city, the first phase would cover the eastern portion of the city, where the financial core is located, from Monday through Friday morning. According to municipal officials, the second phase will cover the western portion of the city and last from Friday morning through Tuesday afternoon, April 5.
According to Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance, “the lockout and obligatory testing district by district in China’s largest city, vital transit hub, and financial center are extremely likely to impair the city’s economic activities.”
“We believe that China will maintain its zero-tolerance policy in the near future, pursuing [its] zero-Covid status as one of the strongest viral elimination programs worldwide,” Pang added.
The development of the highly contagious omicron form has complicated outbreak management and raised operational uncertainty. The omicron subvariant BA.2 has been implicated in the most recent surge of cases by local governments around China.
In order to contain Covid outbreaks and promote economic growth, China has remained committed to a strategy of lockdowns and quarantines. In comparison to other regions of the world, the approach enabled the nation recover from the pandemic’s first shock in early 2020 with comparatively few infections and fatalities.
According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Tesla, whose Shanghai facility is situated in the region encompassed by the first round of the lockdown, reportedly stopped production on Monday for at least a day. A request for comment from CNBC was not immediately answered by the electric car manufacturer.
This time, economists do not anticipate that lockdowns that last only a few days to a week would significantly affect the national economy for the entire year. Since workers can frequently stay on-site at industrial parks, travel limitations and stay-at-home policies have a greater impact on consumer spending and services than on factory production.
Using targeted measures
In the recent weeks, officials in Shanghai have highlighted how the city would not lock down but would instead take a neighborhood-specific approach. The city stated the two-part closure was necessary for batch virus testing even in Sunday’s notice.
The Shanghai International Port Group, which oversees the city’s ports, stated in an online statement on Monday that production units ran continuously except from periods of inclement weather.
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Shanghai enters lockdown: How long will China keep up its Zero Covid policy? | DW News
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