Shanghai’s Covid showdown

By Scoop
April 19, 2022 · less than 3 min read

In the depths of a serious Covid outbreak, Shanghai has been plunged back into lockdown. 

Square one for Shanghai 

For a long time, Shanghai’s city authority remained convinced that it didn’t need to lock down. But as weeks passed and the seriousness of the situation increased, it became inevitable that residents would soon be confined indoors.  

What hadn’t been envisaged though was the sheer scale of the lockdown implemented. Footage emerging from the city in recent days has seen robots prowling the streets issuing instructions, and hundreds of people running low on food and water screaming from tower blocks. Talk about dystopian.

From bad to worse 

So just how has Shanghai’s Omicron outbreak been allowed to get so bad so quickly? Part of the issue has been its strategic importance as a financial hub to China. While mainland Chinese cities have been locked down in their millions at the first sign of a Covid outbreak, Shanghai recently started reporting thousands of new cases per day.  

The city had hoped smaller, less severe lockdowns would quell the outbreak. But on April 3rd, the city authority just about lost its patience. Now, as many as 27 million people are in the second week of a severe lockdown.  

Just as we all thought we were finally kicking Covid, Shanghai’s residents are being driven to desperate measures once more.  

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