COVID-19: Shanghai reports seven deaths as the virus toll rises

WION Web Team
Shanghai, China Updated: Apr 19, 2022, 01:10 PM(IST)

A health worker (C) wearing personal protective equipment conducts a swab test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in a compound during a Covid-19 lockdown in Pudong district in Shanghai. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Nearly 350 million people in at least 44 cities in the country are in some sort of lockdown as per one estimate released on Monday

Shanghai reported seven more Covid deaths on Tuesday. This comes after hundreds of thousands of cases were reported in the city during its week-long lockdown.

It doesn’t end here, the city reported more than 20,000 mostly asymptomatic cases on Tuesday, defying officials’ efforts to eradicate the virus, the AFP reported.

Even while the virus still continues to spread, the city officials announced the first deaths of this outbreak on Monday (April 18) with Tuesday's death toll bringing the total to an unbelievable low of 10 as per official figures.

Also read | China's economic data hints at cost of zero Covid strategy

According to Shanghai’s health official Wu Qianyu, who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday, the recent seven deaths were all the unvaccinated patients aged between 60 and 101 with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and heart-related problems.

As per Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, the patients "became severely ill after admission to hospital, and died after ineffective rescue efforts, with the direct cause of death being underlying diseases".

Earlier on Sunday, Shanghai’s health officials said that less than two-thirds of residents have received their covid jabs and nearly 40 per cent have received their booster. 

On the other hand, Beijing claims its zero-covid policy of tight lockdowns and mass testing has prevented deaths and public health disasters that much of the rest of the world is battling with.

Watch | Shanghai reports first covid deaths since start of covid-19 lockdown

However, China has a massive senior population with a poor vaccination rate, which has raised questions over official figures.

AFP reports, unverified social media posts claimed that the fatalities in Shanghai were going unnoticed, but the messages were swiftly removed from the internet.

Since March 2022, many of the 25 million residents who have been restricted to their homes have been complaining about food shortages, harsh quarantine conditions and strict police handling policing on the internet. 

The country's social media was flooded with protest footage that spread faster than the Chinese government’s ability to remove them.

Also read | Morning news brief: COVID-19 deaths in Shanghai, Russia-Ukraine updates, and more

Since the virus first emerged in late 2019 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the country’s zero-tolerance approach to covid has limited new cases to a trickle.

Nearly 350 million people in at least 44 cities in the country are in some sort of lockdown as per one estimate released on Monday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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