Parts of Shanghai began imposing new lockdown restrictions on Thursday, with residents of the sprawling Minhang district forced to stay at home for two days in a bid to control the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Minhang, home to more than 2 million people, will conduct nucleic acid testing for all residents on June 11, and restrictions will be lifted once testing is complete, the government said on its WeChat account.
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Shanghai reported four new confirmed symptomatic cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in areas already under quarantine. None of the new cases were in Minhang district.
Shanghai emerged from a two-month citywide lockdown last week, but some residential compounds have been cordoned off again as authorities continue to pursue a ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ policy aimed at shutting down chains transmission as soon as possible.
Several government authorities at street level have issued notices saying residents will be subject to two days of confinement and another 12 days of rigorous testing starting Thursday.
According to notices from at least three neighborhoods in Shanghai, residents will undergo five rounds of mandatory tests ending on June 23 and will be kept indoors until Saturday.
Zhao Dandan, the deputy head of Shanghai’s health commission, told a briefing on Tuesday that the city would continue to enforce restrictions even in areas that had not been identified as “high risk”.
“Based on the assessment of epidemic prevention and control trends, related measures will be dynamically adjusted,” he said. “We hope the public will continue to understand and cooperate.”
The restrictions have sparked protests among residents, and business groups have also said lingering concern over “zero-COVID” could cause foreign companies to reconsider their presence in Shanghai.
“One of the main issues facing overseas businesses is the level of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions,” said Alexandra Hirst, senior policy analyst at the British Chamber of Commerce in China.
“This unpredictability and increased risk is causing many companies to delay, scale back or withdraw from the Chinese market entirely,” she said.
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