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World Dozens of COVID Deaths Unreported in China's Shanghai Lockdown: Report

15:55  17 april  2022
15:55  17 april  2022 Source:   newsweek.com

Meituan calls for backup as Shanghai's lockdown leads to scramble for food

  Meituan calls for backup as Shanghai's lockdown leads to scramble for food Chinese food delivery service Meituan has sent almost 1,000 extra workers to Shanghai to help supply groceries to millions of residents struggling with life under a strict Covid lockdown. © courtesy Meituan A worker sorting goods stored in a Meituan delivery vehicle. The company announced Thursday that it had rolled out a host of new measures in China's financial hub, where complaints of high mental stress, and a lack of access to food and basic necessities, have emerged since authorities decided to extend stay-home measures indefinitely.

China could be underreporting several dozen COVID-19 deaths in hospitals and nursing homes in Shanghai, where tens of millions remain in lockdown, and where the last official fatality was recorded more than two years ago.

The BBC this week said at least 27 unvaccinated patients at a single hospital had their cause of death listed as "underlying health problems," according to official documents. It spoke to hospital staff and saw correspondence sent to relatives of the deceased throughout the current COVID outbreak, said its report on Saturday.

Shanghai's localized pandemic control measures were elevated to a citywide lockdown on March 27, but its infection figures have yet to peak in the latest wave caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Despite recording nearly 300,000 positive cases over the past month, fewer than 20 patients experienced serious symptoms, officials said.

Lockdown Anger in Shanghai Intensifies as China Sticks to Zero-COVID Policy

  Lockdown Anger in Shanghai Intensifies as China Sticks to Zero-COVID Policy 26 million people have been under a strict quarantine since late last month, with residents unable to leave their homes and apartments.Shanghai is home to the country's largest-ever virus outbreak, with 23,000 new local cases reported on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. However, the vast majority of those cases are asymptomatic, with just over 1,000 people experiencing symptoms.

The current surge in cases has also resulted in exactly zero deaths, according to official data. The city's last COVID fatality was reported on April 8, 2020, more than 24 months ago.

The BBC said there was "evidence of widespread infections among hundreds of patients in 12 other facilities" in Shanghai.

"One relative of a patient at another care home in Shanghai has told us that doctors and caregivers working there had informed her that everyone in the facility had tested positive," the report said. "It has capacity for around 300 patients."

The British broadcaster suggested the underreporting could be related to China's strict criteria for confirming COVID deaths, which require evidence of lung damage from pneumonia—confirmed by a scan—and possibly the absence of other underlying health conditions as well.

Shanghai discharges thousands of patients, boosts supplies

  Shanghai discharges thousands of patients, boosts supplies BEIJING (AP) — Shanghai on Sunday discharged over 11,000 recovered COVID-19 patients and health authorities emphasized that they must be allowed to return home despite the lockdown that has severely restricted movement in China's largest city. “We hope their family and community will not worry about them or discriminate against them,” said Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission. The city of 26 million people reported 1,006 confirmed infections and nearly 24,000 asymptomatic cases in the last 24 hours.

As China's most populous city, home to some 25 million, remains overwhelmed by the virus, it was not immediately clear whether the reported deaths of senior residents would be retrospectively attributed to COVID.

China's National Health Commission didn't respond to Newsweek's request for comment before publication.

A worker wearing personal protective equipment walks on a street during a COVID-19 lockdown in Jing'an district, Shanghai, China, on April 12, 2022. A BBC report on April 16 said the city—now entering its fourth week of lockdown—could be underreporting dozens of COVID deaths among seniors patients in hospitals and nursing homes. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images © HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images A worker wearing personal protective equipment walks on a street during a COVID-19 lockdown in Jing'an district, Shanghai, China, on April 12, 2022. A BBC report on April 16 said the city—now entering its fourth week of lockdown—could be underreporting dozens of COVID deaths among seniors patients in hospitals and nursing homes. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

As of Sunday, the growing cluster in Shanghai still accounted for over 95 percent of all positive cases in the country. Although officials are announcing the very low number of critical cases and zero deaths each day, there is no sign the central government-mandated "zero-COVID" policy will be abandoned, in spite of the high costs to the economy and society.

Shanghai's chaotic Covid lockdown puts other Chinese cities on edge

  Shanghai's chaotic Covid lockdown puts other Chinese cities on edge As Shanghai's Covid-19 lockdown leaves residents struggling to access food or medical care, citizens elsewhere in China fear similar measures are heading their way -- even as officials try to assure them they are well prepared.In the southern port city of Guangzhou, where all 18 million residents faced mandatory testing after a handful of infections were found last week, officials stressed that food and other supplies were well taken care of -- despite one local paper reporting shortages at supermarkets due to "panic buying.

Beijing's political strategy to maintain social stability throughout the pandemic is receive pushback in its wealthiest city and largest shipping hub. Clashes have erupted within enclosed communities, where residents are either locked down in their apartments and short on supplies, or hauled off to poorly equipped centralized quarantine facilities.

Footage of social grievances including neighborhood demonstrations are being censored and deleted from Chinese social media sites on an hourly basis. Locals are also being encouraged not to speak to foreign press about the situation on the ground, according to the BBC's China correspondent Stephen McDonell.

"Police in #Shanghai have been contacting residents and warning them not to speak to the foreign media about the city's #Covid situation saying this is a violation of laws and regulations. Of course it isn't but, in #China, the law is what the Party wants it to be," McDonell tweeted on Sunday.

"Officials in #Shanghai must know that the Party's reputation amongst ordinary people is being trashed in that city because of the #Covid lockdown," he wrote.

A video captured Shanghai residents appearing to scream out their windows amid the citywide COVID lockdown and food shortages

  A video captured Shanghai residents appearing to scream out their windows amid the citywide COVID lockdown and food shortages Shanghai has been in strict lockdown for weeks. City residents appeared to scream from apartment windows in a online video posted Friday.With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics just weeks away, China has doubled down on its COVID-zero policy of shutting down entire cities to snuff out even a single coronavirus case.

The Omicron wave has spread to the neighboring province of Jiangsu as well as the manufacturing hub of Guangzhou province in the south. Public health restrictions are already in place in cities and districts where positive cases have been discovered.

Reporting the city's latest COVID situation on April 17, the Shanghai health commission wrote: "We must unswervingly implement the general guidance of 'dynamic zero COVID' and make every effort to promote the strategy of zero COVID in society."

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Shanghai releases more from virus observation amid lockdown .
BEIJING (AP) — Shanghai released 6,000 more people from the central facilities where they were under medical observation to guard against the coronavirus, the government said Wednesday, though the lockdown of most of China's largest city was being maintained in its third week. About 6.6 million people in the city of 25 million were allowed to leave their homes Tuesday, but some were restricted to their own neighborhoods. Some housing compounds also appeared to still be keeping residents locked inside, and no further lifting of restrictions was apparent Wednesday.

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