The United States warned on Saturday about the “arbitrary” anticovid measures in China and reported that it will let part of its staff leave the consulate in Shanghai in the face of the outbreak that has the city under confinement.

Until March, China managed to contain cases with targeted lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions, but more than 100,000 cases have now been reported in Shanghai, testing Beijing’s strict “zero covid” policy.

The city of almost 25 million inhabitants is under a phased confinement, which has generated complaints of lack of food and viral videos of its inhabitants questioning the authority.

The State Department is allowing non-essential staff to depart from its consulate in Shanghai “due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases and the impact of restrictions,” an embassy spokesman said in a statement.

The statement warns its citizens to reconsider traveling to China “due to the application of arbitrary local laws and restrictions related to covid-19”, adding that the embassy in Beijing expressed concern about the measures to the Chinese government.

On Saturday, Shanghai reported more than 23,000 new cases, most of them asymptomatic, representing more than 90% of infections nationwide.

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