As a four-day “temporary break” in which the government will test the entire population, isolate the positive cases of coronavirus and reopen the city – so began another lockdown in Shanghai, which turned out to be a real nightmare for 26 million people. Maritsa.
Residents of the city have been locked in their homes for four weeks now.
“PCR testing is the only occasion to go out. We are asked to do these tests every three or four days, sometimes in the short term or very late at night. But most of us feel lucky if they are asked to be tested, because that’s the only way to get out for a while and breathe fresh air, “a local told The Guardian.
The reason for the strict lockdown: the decision of the authorities for “zero tolerance for COVID-19” and the new wave of Omicron. Only health workers, volunteers, suppliers and people with special permission can move freely on the streets of Shanghai.
However, the number of new infections with COVID-19 is growing. Yesterday, China reported three deaths for the first time since the financial center closed in late March. Until now, Chinese health authorities have claimed that no one died from the virus.
The prolonged closure of Shanghai has led to food shortages, lack of access to medical care and overcrowded quarantine centers. Authorities are trying to supply government supplies to residents, but it has a population of 26 million and this is proving challenging.
The system of food supplies from the state is overloaded and the prices of basic products are rising. With the beginning of the third week of lockdown, the trade in black is growing: Coca-Cola, instant foods, dried mangoes and chips are sold at two or three times their original price.
The discontent of the people of Shanghai continues to grow. Retired health workers are beginning to offer alternatives to drastic measures and question the legitimacy of the zero-COVID-19 policy.
Journalists are gathering information on covert deaths due to inaccessible health care and blocked patients’ access to emergency departments due to mass PCR tests.
And citizens are beginning to wonder how their favorite city has become hell on Earth, full of people starving and begging for help. Anger and frustration began to dominate social media, with articles and videos being shared millions of times before being deleted or removed by government censorship.
The positive test turned out to be the worst nightmare for Shanghai residents. This means that the infected will have to be accommodated in special mobile medical centers set up by the state.
The quarantine centers are overcrowded, the conditions in them are extremely bad. “From the WeChat (online diary) of a friend who was forced to go there after a positive test, I learned that they sleep in a huge open space, where the lights are on 24/7 and 10 toilets are shared between 2,000 people. “It’s like a night train without a final destination,” I remember this line from the diary, “said a local citizen.
According to Yachu Wang, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, the situation in Shanghai over the past few weeks reflects a systematic violation of human rights and the suffering of residents is “unnecessary.”
This is not the first “zero” strategy that China is implementing.
In the spring of 1958, the Chinese government mobilized the entire nation to eradicate the sparrows, which Mao Zedong declared pests to destroy crops.
Across China, people have been pounding pots and pans and waving flags for months to prevent birds from landing and eventually sparrows from starvation. It is estimated that nearly two billion birds were killed.
Sparrows are almost extinct, leading to an invasion of insects that destroy the crop. The result is the Great Famine, which killed tens of millions of Chinese over the next three years.
The fear in China now is that the policy of “zero COVID-19” will turn into another Mao Zedong-style political campaign based on the will of one man – the country’s top leader Xi Jinping. And in the end, this strategy can hurt everyone.