Since late March 2022, Shanghai, China, has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases. As of April 15, there were around 17,000 cases, and the numbers were still increasing. China’s zero-COVID strategy called for the lockdown of all 26 million residents in the city, exceeding the measures taken during the Wuhan lockdown in 2020. Starting from March 28, the eastern side of Shanghai went into lockdown, and the west followed suit soon thereafter. Residents who tested negative were confined to their homes, while most who tested positive were brought to hospitals. More than 38,000 workers were deployed to Shanghai from other provinces to help with the efforts.
The date set for ending the lockdown has been continuously postponed as the cases continue to rise. Residents have complained and protested about the lack of food, daily essentials, and medical attention for non-virus-related health issues amidst the lockdown. Reports on delayed healthcare treatment for non-COVID-19-related cases have gained online traction and sparked outrage. From a video online, residents were heard shouting “we want to eat, we want to go to work, we want to have the right to know” while standing together in their apartment complex. Another video reveals residents screaming from their apartment balconies into the night, expressing their discontent with the protocols. However, in the recent two weeks, Shanghai authorities have started easing restrictions in select regions. City official Gu Honghui said that “appropriate activity” is allowed in neighborhoods with no positive cases for at least two weeks.
By Jade Shi