For a large portion of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, China’s primary strategy has been commonly referred to as “zero-COVID,” as whenever an outbreak of the virus occurs in their territory, even a small one, the government reacts swiftly and decisively, implementing lockdowns and restrictions to keep the infected quarantined. This strategy has proven mildly unpopular, as compared to countries which are trying to find ways to simply live with the virus’s presence, residents of China are often forced to completely halt all activity whenever cases spike.
The latest city to be subjected to the zero-COVID strategy is Shanghai, one of China’s most populous cities, as well as one of its major trading ports. On the heels of 3,450 new asymptomatic COVID cases in Shanghai, the largest daily number of cases the city has seen since the pandemic has begun, it will experience a two-stage, nine-day lockdown while local authorities conduct mass testing. During this time, public transport will be suspended and all businesses will be required to work from home where possible, or otherwise temporarily halt activity until the lockdown lifts.
China announces largest city-wide lockdown in Shanghai https://t.co/BLPUhMo3ET
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 27, 2022
Shanghai has a population of approximately 25 million, and its major economic impact has made China reluctant to shut it down entirely. Even the minor lockdowns have been wearing on the populace, as they regularly require long lines and long waits.