The authorities of Shanghai and Beijing have ordered further rounds of COVID-19 testing following the discovery of new cases in the two cities – as concerns over tighter restrictions grow amongst residents.
Shanghai has only just emerged from a strict lockdown that confined most of its residents not long after the city had started enjoying first signs of an economic rebirth.
The latest outbreak has been linked to a karaoke lounge in Shanghai that reopened without authorisation during lockdown and failed to enforce prevention measures.
The newly announced Government’s plans have stirred concerns of a return of much harsher measures in line with China’s Covid Zero policy.
Shanghai’s lockdown had previously prompted protests as many were left many struggling to access food and medical services.
“Several Chinese areas are facing local outbreaks and infections have emerged at the community level in Shanghai, to which we should attach great importance,” Deputy Director of Shanghai’s Municipal Health Commission, Zhao Dandan, told reporters on 6 July.
“The virus spreads quickly because such entertainment venues are mostly indoor and closed, with frequent movement of people, high concentrations of people and inadequate personal protection measures.”
Shanghai reported 24 new cases on 5 July, against eight during the previous day.
Beijing reported six cases on the same day; the capital has enforced milder measures than in Shanghai.
Tight restrictions remain in place in Hong Kong, Macao, and other Chinese cities.
Despite the low numbers of cases, the strict measures have remained in place and seriously impacted global supply chains.
Congestion at Shanghai port remained at normal levels in spite of the latest lockdown imposed on the city in June.
According to the latest date from VesselsValue, average waiting times for Tankers, Bulkers, and Containerships at the busy port peaked in late April at 65 hours.