Lockdown to continue until all screening results released
Shanghai residents should continue "staying at home" until all results of the city's COVID-19 screening on Monday are released, a senior city government official said on Tuesday.
About 80 percent of the testing has been completed on the nucleic acid samples collected during Shanghai's first citywide COVID-19 screening, according to the government.
A total of 25.67 million residents received the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Monday. The samples were collected in 2.427 million tubes, 1.925 million of which had been tested as of Tuesday at 8am.
After the results are released, the city government will quickly analyze and evaluate the situation and publicize follow-up prevention and control measures, said Gu Honghui, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai government.
"Before that, citizens are asked to continue following the current lockdown measures and stay in their homes except for medical and other emergency situations," Gu said at the city's daily COVID-19 press briefing.
Shanghai has reported more than 73,000 positive COVID-19 infections since the resurgence of the highly contagious Omicron variant in March.
"The pandemic is still at its peak period and the situation is extremely severe," Gu said.
With the support of medical teams from across the country, Shanghai has been able to test four-million tubes of nucleic acid samples every day. The follow-up processes, including transport, testing, reporting and double-checking, have been accelerated, he said.
Any new positive case must be transported and quarantined that day. Infected people will be treated with traditional Chinese medicines and new COVID-19 treatment drugs to reduce the rates of severe symptoms and death, Gu added.
There are about 47,700 beds at local designated and makeshift hospitals for COVID-19 patients. Another 30,000 beds will soon be put into use, according to Gu.
Additional hotels and stadiums, as well as conference, exhibition and training centers that meet COVID-19 prevention standards will be repurposed into temporary transfer sites.
The city currently has 62 such sites for patients to receive further testing while waiting to be transferred.
The city government announced on Monday night that Shanghai will continue the current lockdown until follow-up measures are determined based on the results of citywide nucleic acid testing.
To ensure vital supplies during the prolonged lockdown, the city has established 10 emergency vegetable warehouses that are connected to more than 50 vegetable planting bases and 77 key suppliers.
Supplies remain sufficient and the focus is solving "last kilometer" and "last 100 meter" delivery, Gu said.
Emergency medical channels have also been opened, primarily for those with acute diseases, pregnant women, children and people requiring hemodialysis, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Companies that can conduct closed-door operations can keep their businesses going during the lockdown. Public service companies, such as those dealing with water, electricity, fuel, gas, communications, transportation, meat and vegetable supplies, also continue to operate.
Though most public transportation has been suspended, vehicles used for COVID-19 prevention, emergency medical services, critical supplies, urban operations, personnel transfer and emergency response that have special passes released by local authorities are still allowed on local roads.
The city reported a record 268 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 13,086 asymptomatic infections on Monday.
Of all the local infections, four confirmed patients were previously asymptomatic. Fourteen confirmed and 12,592 asymptomatic cases were detected during central quarantine, while the rest were found during screenings of high-risk people.
Shanghai has entered the most arduous and critical stage of the fight against the pandemic, said Wu Qianyu, an official with the Shanghai Health Commission.
"We will stick to the 'dynamic zero-COVID' policy without hesitation and achieve the zero-COVID target as soon as possible," she said.