AFP reported that the State Department would let non-essential staff leave its Shanghai consulate amid concerns over local’s “arbitrary enforcement” and “Covid-19-related restrictions.”

The U.S. embassy said in a statement on April 9 that the leaving reason was due to “a surge in Covid-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to the response.” The department also told citizens to think twice before traveling to China.

The U.S. embassy spokesperson also said that the embassy in Beijing had expressed its concerns to the Chinese government about the anti-epidemic measures.

Shanghai has been experiencing food shortages as the authorities imposed citywide lockdowns. This situation has been putting pressure on the delivery staff amid surging COVID-19 numbers.

Reuters reported on April 6 that a U.S. consulate employee in Shanghai had helped out seven U.S. Marines as they could not get fresh food due to the city’s restrictions.

The newspaper cited the employee saying, “Marines have depleted their food and can no longer get delivery.” The person added, “I know we are all running short on supplies. If you can spare a meal’s worth or two for 7 extra mouths, they’d be very appreciative.”

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