Parts of Shanghai began imposing new mobility restrictions on Thursday, with residents of the sprawling Minhang district ordered to stay home for two days in a bid to control COVID transmission risks. -19. Minhang, which is home to more than 2 million people, will carry out nucleic acid tests on all residents on June 11 and the restrictions will be lifted once the tests are completed, the government said on its WeChat account. Shanghai reported four new symptomatic cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all of them in areas that were already under quarantine. None of the new cases were in the Minhang district.
Shanghai emerged from a two-month citywide lockdown last week, but some residential compounds have been sealed off again as authorities continue to implement a “proactive zero infection” policy aimed at shutting down transmission chains as soon as possible. . This means authorities are rapidly imposing movement restrictions and testing requirements in areas where not only positive cases, but also their close contacts, live or have visited. Several government authorities on the street have issued notices indicating that residents will be subjected to two days of confinement and another 12 days of rigorous tests starting Thursday. According to notices from at least three neighborhoods in Shanghai, residents will be subjected to five rounds of mandatory testing that will end on June 23 and will be kept in lockdown until Saturday.
In the past week, green fences and red wooden boards have appeared along some of the streets near these neighborhoods, barricading residents and sparking new public anger. Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai health commission, told a news conference on Tuesday that the city would continue to enforce restrictions even in areas that had not been identified as “high risk.” “Based on the evaluation of epidemic prevention and control trends, related measures will be dynamically adjusted,” he said. “We hope that the population continues to understand and cooperate.” City authorities have tried to balance their adherence to a “zero infection” policy with encouraging the resumption of business activity, given how much the two-month-long lockdown hit the local economy and businesses. The Shanghai Disney Resort, which has been closed since March 21, has declared that it will reopen some shops and areas of the park starting Friday, but Disneyland’s main park, Disneytown and its two hotel complexes will remain closed until further notice.
Authorities in the city, China’s most cosmopolitan and its biggest business hub, have also tried to restore ties with foreign companies by holding multiple meetings with executives and easing a key border requirement for foreign workers. Still, business chambers said the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions remains a key concern for foreign companies.
“This unpredictability and increased risk is causing many companies to delay, scale back or withdraw from the Chinese market altogether,” said Alexandra Hirst, senior policy analyst at the British Chamber of Commerce in China.
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