SHANGHAI, April 17 (Reuters) – Shanghai has set a goal of preventing the spread of COVID-19 outside isolated areas by Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter have said, which will allow the city to further ease its locks and reopen. Normal life when general frustration increases.
According to a speech by a local Communist Party official dated Saturday, Govt will require authorities to transfer the trial and positive cases to isolated centers, a copy of which was viewed by Reuters.
Completing the social-status exchange is a turning point for other locked Chinese locations, meaning the city of Shenzhen reopened public transport last month and allowed businesses to return to work shortly after reaching that goal.
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Shanghai has become the epicenter of China’s biggest outbreak since the virus was first identified in Wuhan in late 2019, and has recorded more than 320,000 COVID infections since its outbreak began in early March.
Frustrated Shanghai residents have taken to social media to express their anger at local authorities over food, lost income, separated families and the dire conditions in the central isolation centers. Tensions sometimes erupted as public protests or melees with police. read more
The Chinese economy and global supply chains are being crushed by the closure of factories and transport disruptions in many parts of China by the Govt-19 blockade. read more
Shanghai has already taken fragmented measures to ease controls. State television reported Sunday that some supermarkets have reopened their doors to shoppers, despite numerous residents expressing distrust in social media posts. The social media account, which is supported by the Shanghai government, said it was located in a suburban district.
Shanghai’s new goal of being a “zero-sum Govt.”
China’s definition of a zero – Govt position at the social level means that no new cases will emerge outside isolated areas.
The party secretary of the city’s Pavoshan district’s speech on Saturday described the order as an indication that the city’s situation had reached a “critical moment” with mounting public concern and food supply pressures.
“The State Council Working Committee, the Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government have requested that the turning point of the epidemic should appear on the 17th and reach zero Govt status on the 20th,” Sen Ji said in the speech.
The Shanghai government and the State Council of China did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Potion was unable to contact the district government by phone outside of work on Sunday.
“This is a military order, there is no room for bargaining. We can only fight for victory by biting our teeth. It is a complete attack, the last battle to change the course of the epidemic.” The speech said.
A Shanghai resident sent a notice to Reuters on Sunday to his neighborhood group of residents, mobilizing more workers and buses to expedite the transfer of positive cases from their premises to isolated centers.
Pictures and videos circulating on Chinese social media on Saturday evening showed a large number of buses lined up to pick up long queues of users who said they had tested positive for Kovit outside a city in Shanghai’s East Pudong district. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the recordings.
Of the 23,643 new local infections reported in Shanghai on Saturday, 722 were detected outside isolated areas, said Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission. He told a news conference on Sunday that the number had dropped in the last two days.
Businesses are reopening
China’s “dynamic clearance” approach to Govt control requires authorities to centralize all cases and isolate their close contacts.
Beijing authorities intervened in Shanghai in early April, following the failure of the financial center to isolate COVID-19, despite the city being locked up in phases. Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged China not to loosen its grip on corona virus activities and to adopt an eradication approach. read more
Shanghai began locking areas east of the Huangpu River on March 28 and extending the lockdown across the city on April 1. Although it eased traffic restrictions for some residents last week, most businesses were closed and public transport halted.
Business leaders have been increasingly outspoken about the number of locks on the Chinese economy, warning that automakers in Shanghai and neighboring areas will be forced to halt production altogether if their suppliers are unable to start work soon. read more
On Friday, China’s industrial regulator said it had identified 666 companies as priority companies in the semiconductor, automobile and medical sectors in Shanghai. read more
Late on Saturday, Shanghai officials provided guidance on what actions the city should take to restart production, such as storing medical supplies and submitting COVID prevention plans for their factories.
Tesla (TSLA.O) is preparing to reopen its Shanghai plant on April 18, Reuters reported. read more
SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS), a Chinese partner of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and General Motors (GM.N), has said it is preparing to resume production and will begin “stress testing” on Monday.
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Report by the Shanghai News Room; Editing by Edmund Clamon
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.