26 million people in confinement after thousands of asymptomatic cases detected in Shanghai
“The epidemic prevention and control in Shanghai is at the most difficult and critical stage,” Wu Qianyu, an official with the municipal health commission, said in a briefing.
“We must adhere to the general policy of dynamic release without hesitation, without hesitation.”
Shanghai’s quarantine policy has been criticized for separating children from parents and placing asymptomatic cases among those with symptoms. Wu did not comment on the uproar over family separations. She insisted that children who tested positive should be separated.
But following public outcry, a senior inspector with the Shanghai health commission said on Wednesday that parents would be allowed to stay with children infected with COVID-19.
The official said parents who “fully understand the health risks” and have signed an agreement would be allowed to accompany their children to the monitoring facilities.
However, parents should wear masks, eat separately, avoid sharing personal items and “strictly follow” all aspects of the management system, Wu Ganyu told reporters.
A temporary treatment center opened a 1,000-bed section to treat parents and children, the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center posted on its social media account.
Shanghai residents have organized an online petition calling for asymptomatic children to be allowed to self-isolate at home, with at least 1,000 people signing up.
The city has set up around 47,700 beds in a number of newly built temporary hospitals in Shanghai, with another 30,000 being prepared, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, quoting Gu Honghui, deputy government secretary general. municipal.
The National Exhibition and Convention Center, a 1.2 million square meter space in Shanghai known for hosting international auto shows and other high-profile events, is being converted to accommodate more than 40,000 people.
A total of 62 temporary quarantine sites have been designated at hotels, stadiums and exhibition centers, Gu said.
Thousands of residents have been locked down in rudimentary quarantine facilities after testing positive, whether they are symptomatic or not.
Chen Erzhen, a doctor in charge of a quarantine facility in Shanghai, said in an interview with the Communist Party newspaper that People’s Daily over the weekend that authorities may revise guidelines and allow asymptomatic people to stay at home, especially if the number of cases increases.
“The most important thing is the issue of personal compliance,” he said.
Sun Chunlan, vice premier in charge of COVID prevention, urged grassroots Communist Party organizations to “do their utmost” to help residents solve problems, such as access to medicine, food and in water.
The proportion of asymptomatic cases is far higher in Shanghai than in the rest of the world, which has been attributed to a screening process that catches infected people before they get sick.
Some 23 Chinese cities are under full or partial lockdown, affecting around 193 million people in areas accounting for 22% of its gross domestic product, brokerage Nomura said.
Reuters, Bloomberg, AP