Thursday, Jul 07, 2022

Covid In China: Shanghai's Death Toll Rises to 17, New Infections See Minor Dip

With 19,001 new daily Covid cases, Shanghai accounts for around 95 per cent of Chinese mainland's total new infections.

People in Shanghai
People in Shanghai Wang Yanting/Xinhua via AP

The Covid-19 death toll in China's Shanghai rose to 17 on Wednesday with seven new fatalities. The city also witnessed first signs of a declining trend as it reported a 7 per cent fall in daily infections. 

Shanghai, the financial hub of China, reported 19,001 daily Covid cases, compared to the previous day's 20,629.  

The city's daily infections account for 95 per cent of the Chinese mainland's new daily infections as the rest of the country only reproted 918 new daily cases.

The silver lining for Shanghai, whose residents were on the edge due to prolonged lockdowns resulting in the shortage of medicines and food, is that the Covid-19 numbers showed a declining trend, dipping below the 20,000 mark for the first time in 13 days. The current outbreak in the city has seen a total of 408,000 infections since March 1.

“The battle against the virus in Shanghai is at a critical moment, so no let-up is allowed,” the Shanghai government said in a statement, citing Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, who has been overseeing the city’s antivirus work since April 2.

“Any relaxation in the anti-pandemic work is unacceptable,” the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Shanghai started reducing lockdowns gradually in the backdrop of rising anger among the people.

Shanghai, which is under lockdown since April 1, imposed a five-day standstill order – due to end on Wednesday – that limited the movements of medical workers, delivery couriers and volunteers at high-risk “lockdown areas” to minimise the risk of infections, the Post report said.

Four million more people in the city were allowed to leave their homes from the quarantine rules, taking the total so far to 12 million, a health official in the city said.

Despite officials’ assertions that there will be no let-up, the city, which is the country’s manufacturing hub, started relaxing rules for factories to open up.

Shanghai has been trying to resume production at 666 key manufacturers, including Tesla and the country’s largest chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.

Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, which has been idle since March 28, restarted assembling Model 3 and Model Y electric cars on Tuesday evening, the Post reported.

Tesla will deploy a single shift to run at full capacity for the next three to four days, and tap its components inventory to assemble new cars, according to a report in state-owned Shanghai Television, quoting the carmaker’s senior director of manufacturing Song Gang.

With PTI inputs