BEIJING – The United States has ordered non-emergency government officials to leave Shanghai, which is under severe blockade, to contain the rise in COVID-19.
Many residents of the city of 26 million are locked up in their homes for up to three weeks as China maintains its “zero COVID” strategy to deal with outbreaks and mass tests.
But people living under the restrictions are describing an increasingly desperate situation, with families unable to leave their homes or get food and daily necessities, while people with a positive coronavirus test are forced to enter mass quarantine centers where conditions sometimes called crowded. and unhygienic.
Authorities said Tuesday that another 23,342 people in Shanghai tested positive for the virus the day before, with only 994 showing symptoms. The total number of infected exceeded 200,000 in the last wave, although no additional deaths were reported.
The State Department said the order, announced late Monday, was an upgrade of last week’s “authorized” departure councils, which made the decision voluntary. The order covers non-US government officials at the consulate in Shanghai and their family members. Consular staff will remain on duty at the consulate.
“Our change in posture reflects our assessment that it is best to reduce our staff and their families and reduce our operations as we deal with changing circumstances on the ground,” the statement said.
The State Department has also issued a series of tips for Americans in Shanghai, including that they ensure they have “enough money, medicine, food and other needs for your family in the event of sudden restrictions or quarantine.”
The Chinese government and fully state-controlled media are becoming increasingly protective of complaints about COVID-19 prevention measures.
Beijing has angrily responded to last week’s voluntary departure council, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijiang saying China was “very dissatisfied and strongly opposed to the US base’s baseless accusations against China’s epidemic response.”
In that statement, the State Department advised Americans to reconsider their trip to China due to “arbitrary application” of local laws and COVID-19 restrictions, especially in Hong Kong, Jilin Province and Shanghai. U.S. officials cite the risk of “parents and children being separated.”
However, and indications that tough policies are being dictated by the leader of the ruling Communist Party, Xi Jinping, China has rejected any idea that his response is political in nature. He called for social stability, especially in the run-up to a key party congress later this year, which is expected to give him an unprecedented third term as party leader.
Authorities in Shanghai also say they have provided daily supplies to residents following complaints of food shortages and other essentials or insufficient demand.
Shanghai says it will gradually lift some restrictions on neighborhoods where no new infections have been reported in the past two weeks. Residents will be able to travel around their neighborhoods, but not meet in groups. Others will be limited to their immediate neighborhoods.
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The United States is withdrawing non-emergency personnel from Shanghai amid COVID’s jump
Source link The United States is withdrawing non-emergency personnel from Shanghai amid COVID’s jump