Shanghai announces the first death in the current COVID-19 outbreak

Shanghai announces the first death in the current COVID-19 outbreak

On Monday, Shanghai authorities announced the first death from COVID-19 in the latest outbreak in China's most populous and wealthiest city.

Wu Ganyu, an inspector of the city's health commission, told reporters that the three people who died had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Most of Shanghai's 25 million residents are confined to their homes for a third week as China uses a "zero tolerance" strategy to curb the outbreak and demands that anyone potentially infected be isolated.

China said on Monday that 23,362 people had tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, most of them asymptomatic and nearly all of them in Shanghai.

The city has reported more than 300,000 cases since late March. Shanghai began easing restrictions last week, although officials warned that the city was not in control of the outbreak.

Home to China's largest port and most important stock exchange, Shanghai seemed unprepared for such a massive project.

Residents ran out of food and other daily necessities while enduring lockdown conditions and tens of thousands of people were held under medical observation in crowded facilities where lights were always on, trash bins were overflowing, food was inadequate, and hot showers were non-existent.

Anyone who tests positive but shows few or no symptoms must spend one week in the quarantine facility.

Concerns increased about the economic impact of the government's hard-line policy.

China's economic growth surged to a weak 4.8% year-on-year from January to March 2022 as lockdowns cut production in major industrial cities. Official data showed growth accelerating from 4% in the previous quarter.

At Monday's meeting, Vice Premier Liu He, chief economic advisor to President Xi Jinping, pledged to increase spending to stabilize supply chains and provide financial support for health workers and others on the epidemic's front lines. The ruling Communist Party has urged more strict regulations, possibly out of fear of being expelled or punished for outbreaks in their areas.

In Wenzhou, which has seen only a handful of cases, authorities are allowing bounties of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,800) for information about people who visit their health status, online news site The Paper reports.

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