Shanghai will close a 2.7 million-person zone on Saturday to perform mass coronavirus testing, according to city officials, as the Chinese metropolis battles to fully escape from onerous restraints.
After keeping the majority of its 25 million citizens to their homes since March as China faced its biggest Covid epidemic in two years, the city relaxed numerous restrictions last week.
However, the lockdown was never entirely lifted, with hundreds of thousands of people in China’s largest metropolis remained confined to their homes and various residential complexes subjected to new stay-at-home orders.
The 2.7 million-person Minhang southern district will be placed under “closed management” on Saturday morning, and all inhabitants will be examined, district officials stated in a social media post on Thursday.
“The closure will be lifted after samples are gathered,” they continued, without specifying a time or date.
The message did not specify what actions would be taken if any district residents tested positive. Under China’s strict zero-Covid policy, all positive patients are separated and close connections are quarantined, frequently including the whole building or town where they live.
On Thursday, Shanghai reported nine new local illnesses, but none in Minhang.
The news by the district caused concern among some social media users that the lockdown may be extended beyond Saturday if any instances are discovered.
“You need to explain if (the lockdown) will be removed when samples are gathered,” one Weibo user remarked.
“What will you do if the findings of the testing are abnormal? Should the lockdown be maintained? “another person inquired.
The lockout in Shanghai, a major global shipping centre, threatens to exacerbate already-strained worldwide supply lines.
However, the city has gradually returned to life in recent days.
Commuters are back on subways and buses as people return to work, and citizens have gathered in parks and along the city’s historic waterfront.
Others, though, are fed up with the limits, with residents in one complex in the downtown Xuhui neighbourhood protesting the laws this week.
Meanwhile, China’s capital Beijing is returning to normalcy after closing restaurants, gyms, and metro stations last month to combat a minor epidemic.