The COVID-19 pandemic may have mostly wound down in the U.S., but in China, it appears to be raging once more as the city of Shanghai, a crucial part of China’s financial apparatus, is requiring supermarkets and shops to shut down and ordering residents to stay home until at least Tuesday.
Reuters reported. that Shanghai’s central Jingan district, which plays a crucial role in the financialization of the Chinese economy, is forcing these new restrictions while also planning to carry out mass covid testing into the first half of the next week.
Exit permits given to residents in the region, which allow people to leave their homes, will be suspended. The local district government did not provide an explanation for the passes’ suspension.
This is just the latest development in Shanghai’s renewed war on COVID-19.
In late March, Shanghai — which is China’s largest city — began a phased lockdown as it grappled with a massive surge in cases of the Omicron variant. It was reported that at the time, China was seeing case numbers that it had not experienced since the early days of the pandemic.
The initial Shanghai lockdown involved closing down the eastern side of the city, as determined by being to the east of the Huangpu River, for about a week and then subsequently locking down the western side of the city for a similar length of time.
Along with the lockdowns, the local Communist Party apparatus announced a sophisticated testing regiment to regulate the health of its residents.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said, at the time, that the Chinese Communist Party’s goal was to “minimize the impact” of the virus on the economy as authorities work to uphold the country’s extremely aggressive “zero-COVID policy.”
However, the Shanghai lockdowns not only caused disruptions in the local and national economy of China but have reverberated across the globe and worsened preexisting economic conditions. For instance, CNN reported that the port of Shanghai is the world’s busiest port for shipping container traffic. Shanghai is also a major aviation hub. The recent covid lockdowns have made port delays worse and caused the price of air freight to soar thus greatly exacerbating the ongoing supply chain crisis across the globe.
During the early stages of the lockdown, food orders were being canceled because delivery drivers and suppliers could not meet the demand of Shanghai residents and food delivery services, and people in government-run quarantine facilities were given folk remedies in lieu of medicine due to the limited supply of resources.