Shanghai reports first Covid deaths since lockdown began

Shanghai said on Monday three people had died of Covid-19, the first official death announcement following an outbreak that plunged the megacity into a week-long lockdown, sparking widespread anger and rare protests.

Since March, a patchwork of restrictions has kept most of the city’s 25 million residents confined to their homes or compounds, with daily caseloads regularly exceeding 25,000.

On Monday, city officials revealed the first deaths – all senior citizens with underlying illnesses.

They “deteriorated to severe after going to hospital and died after all efforts to resuscitate them proved ineffective,” the city said on an official social media account.

The statement said two of the dead were women aged 89 and 91, while the third was a 91-year-old man.

The municipal health commission confirmed the deaths.

The eastern business center recorded 22,248 new cases nationwide on Monday, according to the municipal health commission.

Although relatively small compared to other global outbreaks, the numbers continue a trend in recent weeks that has seen the city record tens of thousands of daily cases, most of which are asymptomatic.

Shanghai says three people have died of Covid-19, the first official death announcement since lockdown began Photo: AFP / LIU JIN

In response, authorities stepped up on Beijing’s longstanding zero-tolerance approach to the virus, vowing to persist with onerous restrictions on movement and isolating anyone whose test is found. positive – even if she shows no signs of illness.

People in Shanghai – one of China’s wealthiest and most cosmopolitan cities – have suffered from the restrictions, with many complaining of food shortages, spartan quarantine conditions and heavy-handed enforcement.

Social media users have ripped authorities over the videotaped killing of a pet corgi by a health worker and a now-softened policy of separating infected children from their virus-free parents.

In a rare glimpse of discontent, videos posted online last week showed residents brawling with police in protective gear ordering them to return their homes to patients.

Other images and audio clips indicated growing desperation, including some showing people walking through barricades to demand food.

Despite the blowback, China, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019, is sticking to its tried and tested zero Covid policy of mass testing, travel restrictions and targeted lockdowns.

But the world’s most populous nation has recently struggled to contain outbreaks in several regions, largely due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

The country last reported new Covid-19 deaths on March 19 – two people in the northeast Rust Belt province of Jilin – the first such fatalities in more than a year.

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