The Chinese Communist Party acknowledged it was unprepared to deal with the recent outbreak of the Omicron variant coronavirus in Shanghai. China’s most important financial center implemented strict shutdown measures that could lead to supply problems.
Ma Chunlei, deputy secretary general of Shanghai’s government, admitted at a press conference on March 31 that Shanghai was unprepared to battle this new wave of infections due to its lack of knowledge about the variant, according to the Global Times.
Shanghai has implemented strict anti-virus measures in view of the systematic increase in cases and the shortage of treatment and medical resources. Its main concern is that the city, which is one of the country’s driving forces, will increase the infection curve and, to curb the virus, it implemented the temporary closure of cities east and south of the Huangpu River, including Pudong and its surroundings, for nucleic acid testing. The closures and checks began at 5 a.m. on March 28 until 5 a.m. on April 1, as a first stage. On Friday, April 1 at 3 a.m., the second stage of confinement began, which will conclude on April 5 at 3 a.m., the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Office reported, according to Xinhuanet.com.
To curb the movement of people, the government suspended buses and cabs in specific areas and closed bridges and tunnels crossing rivers.
Shanghai’s municipal health commission released about 35,000 new cases in March. On Thursday 31, the city reported 4,502 new cases, China Daily reported.
However, Shanghai citizens are not reassured by the new isolation measures and fear food shortages. This follows a history of closure in the city of Jilin that caused residents to run out of food supplies in their homes.
In this context two important markets closed due to lack of workers, which caused food shortages, the city’s Communist Party deputy secretary Liu Renyuan told Reuters.