Shanghai's phase-1 lockdown delivers 'expected results'

Yang Jian
Fewer positive cases detected from COVID-19 screening in Pudong and nearby regions, authorities reported, as phase-2 testing started in Puxi.
Yang Jian
Shanghai's phase-1 lockdown delivers 'expected results'

An empty road in Puxi during the first day of lockdown on the west side of Huangpu River in Shanghai on Friday.

The lockdown and COVID-19 screening in Pudong and its nearby regions achieved expected targets, with fewer positive cases detected, Shanghai Health Commission said.

A total of 18 million polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, twice for every citizen, were done in the city's phase-I locked down regions on the east and south sides of Huangpu River, said Wu Jinglei, director of the commission.

The number of positive cases decreased during the second round of PCR screening on Wednesday, compared with the first testing on Monday, Wu told the city's daily COVID-19 press briefing which was held online for the first time due to the lockdown in Puxi.

"It means the screening has preliminarily reached expected results and can play a key role in curbing the spread of the epidemic," Wu said.

The newly detected positive cases are being transferred, quarantined or treated at local designated hospitals or central quarantine sites.

Follow-up quarantine measures have been announced with classified and grid management to consolidate the results of the screening, he added.

The phase-I lockdown of the Pudong New Area, Fengxian, Jinshan and Chongming districts as well as parts of Minhang and Songjiang districts was lifted from Friday morning. It was immediately followed by the next phase for the rest of the city in Puxi through April 5.

Shanghai's phase-1 lockdown delivers 'expected results'

Only vehicles with a special pass can drive on roads in Puxi during the lockdown through April 5.

However, based on the results of screenings from the first part of the two-stage lockdown, some follow-up quarantine measures have been launched, with areas to be classified as "locked down," "controlled" or "precautionary," according to the commission.

"The lockdown and screening in Pudong have achieved 'staged progress'," said Dr Ning Guang, president of Ruijin Hospital.

A small number of positive cases or potential cases will still exist, which require the follow-up quarantine measures to find, Ning told the press briefing.

Ning said the ongoing lockdown and screening can help to achieve a dynamic zero-COVID-19 at the community level sooner with the cooperation of citizens.

The city reported 358 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 4,144 local asymptomatic infections on Thursday, fewer than that of Wednesday and Tuesday.

Of all the local infections, 20 confirmed patients were previously asymptomatic. Eight confirmed patients and 3,710 asymptomatic cases were detected during central quarantine, while the rest were found in the screening of high-risk people.

A wider scale of COVID-19 screening of some 16 million citizens in a dozen districts during the phase-II lockdown will involve more complicated situations, Wu said. Citizens are asked to understand, tolerate, support and cooperate to help accelerate the screening.

Shanghai's phase-1 lockdown delivers 'expected results'

Puxi residents line up to receive PCR testing during the lockdown.

Better community services will be provided during the second phase of lockdown in Puxi, said Zeng Qun, deputy director of Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

For garbage dumping, residents can put their sorted household waste outside the door and community workers will come to collect it regularly without contacting citizens, Zeng said.

Online orders will be placed in designated shelves outside the community and volunteers will help to deliver them to homes.

Neighborhood committees are also required to improve the organization of PCR testing. Residents should go downstairs in batches to do the test and avoid gathering or cross infection. They are asked to keep a distance of two meters away from others during the waiting period.

Better medical services will also be ensured. Community workers have assessed the medical requirements, especially for people needing hemodialysis or with severe diseases. Each district has had designated hospitals receive patients during lockdown, Zeng said.

Citizens under lockdown at home are suggested to drink more hot water, gargle frequently and brush their teeth at least thrice every day at least five minutes each time.

Fruits with full vitamin C like pitaya (dragon fruit) are recommended, along with vitamin C tablets and more sleep to help build immunity during the lockdown, Ning said.

Shanghai's phase-1 lockdown delivers 'expected results'

Puxi residents undergo PCR testing during the lockdown.

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