As Cases Jump, Shanghai Bars are preventing people from leaving their homes and even walking their pets.
Shanghai has tightened lockdown restrictions for residents in the city's eastern half, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes even to walk their pets, according to the local newspaper Covid. On Tuesday, the number of infections reached a new high of 4,477.
According to a statement published by the area's residential compounds seen by Bloomberg News, all inhabitants in the Pudong district, home to several prominent financial organisations and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, will be restricted to their houses and permitted out only to undergo a Covid test.
Residents should avoid walking in corridors, garages, or open areas of their residential compounds to limit the danger of infection, according to Wu Qianyu, a Shanghai Municipal Health Commission official, who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.
The tougher lockdown conditions came a day after the Chinese financial hub began isolating its 25 million residents in two stages, with half of the city shut down for four days and the other half shut down for four days. The goal is to test the entire city for Covid-19 as part of the effort to contain the country's largest epidemic to date.
Residents used to be able to go to their building's lobby and roam about the open portions of their properties. Some residents were allowed to leave the complex if no illnesses were found in their residences. While the Shanghai government said that citizens must stay at home on Sunday night, the draconian house confinement was not announced until Tuesday.
The number of Covid cases increased to 4,477 on the first day of the lockdown, up from 3,500 on Monday. According to data from China's National Health Commission, there were 6,886 cases nationwide on Tuesday.
The Shanghai municipal administration will continue to support the import of antiviral medications and Covid vaccinations, according to authorities at the briefing. China imported 21,000 boxes of Pfizer Inc.'s Covid tablet Paxlovid through Shanghai earlier this month and has been using the medicine to treat high-risk patients.
Officials claimed the city has also implemented a number of initiatives, including tax relief, rent extensions or reductions, and loan assistance for small enterprises, retail, and catering industries that have been impacted hard by the outbreak.
Shanghai's shutdown occurred after a month of less disruptive tactics failed to stop omicron from spreading quickly and quietly around the city.
While officials vowed to keep the financial hub open to prevent disrupting the Chinese and global economies, the number of cases increased as authorities targeted more buildings and broadened the scope of testing. Authorities eventually caved in, announcing sweeping lockdowns on Sunday night in an attempt to stop the illness from spreading further.
So far, China's financial markets and the world's busiest port, Shanghai, have remained open and are running normally.
The tightened limitations highlight the difficulty Chinese officials confront in carrying out President Xi Jinping's desire for containment measures that are both effective in suffocating Covid and have minimum social and economic consequences.
While infections in Shenzhen, China's southern tech powerhouse, have dropped to single digits following a week-long lockdown, cities such as Langfang and Tangshan near Beijing, as well as the entire northeastern province of Jilin, have stayed closed for up to two weeks.
According to Bloomberg News calculations, 62 million people in China are either under lockdown or are about to be placed under one.