Corona virus in China: Shanghai’s concerns over new lockdown


As of 07/14/2022 02:23 AM

In the Chinese economic metropolis of Shanghai, fears are mounting about new restrictions on the crown. Smaller outbreaks of infection are causing problems for authorities. Uncertainty also affects the economy.

Author: Ruth Kirchner, ARD Studio Beijing, now Berlin

Shanghai is suffering from a heatwave. Temperatures around 40 degrees are difficult for many. But the uncertainty about the situation in Corona also gets on my nerves. New infections are reported daily. Usually they are only in the two-digit range. But my nerves are on the verge.

“The situation for Covid worsened significantly again in July,” says the 35-year-old, who refuses to give his name. “Everyone is terrified that a new blockage may occur.”

Districts are calling for the purchase of supplies

The severe closure in Shanghai in April and May, when people were unable to leave their homes for weeks, left deep scars. When people in three boroughs were asked to replenish their supplies for 14 days this week, rumors immediately began circulating of an impending new closure. City officials ease the situation, but many people are suspicious.

“Trust in our government has been destroyed,” says a 28-year-old employee. “After all the lies we were told last time, it’s normal for people to get paranoid now, even as the government tries to dispel rumors.”

Authorities continue to take action against even the slightest corona epidemic. A new mandatory test round has been underway since Tuesday in Shanghai. At the test stands, workers sit in hot white protective suits. Ice blocks on the floor should provide some cooling. This week, more than 200 buildings in Shanghai have been closed due to Corona.

Doubts about strict zero-Covid policy

Media reports say that the authorities would also re-open central isolation centers. In China, anyone infected with the crown is forcibly placed in hospitals or state institutions. However, there is growing doubt among the population about Covid’s strict zero-policy policy.

The virus is probably not as dangerous anymore as it was at the beginning. Strict preventive measures now often do much more damage. I think we need some rethink and correction.

But while the rest of the world is trying to live with the virus, China shows no sign of a shift in course. The economic consequences can be felt everywhere.

Cloudy economic outlook

Especially small businesses, which sometimes have to close their stores and then reopen them until further restrictions are imposed, often don’t know how to make ends meet anymore. Rural workers in China who work in metropolitan areas such as Shanghai in the low-wage sector often do not have social security.

Chinese exports rose surprisingly sharply in June, but the economic outlook is not that rosy: “Today, the pandemic and the international environment are even more serious and complex,” says customs spokesman Li Kuiwen. There is instability and uncertainty – the pressure is great.

Economic data for the second quarter are eagerly awaited. Analysts expect growth to be well below the government’s annual target of 5.5 percent. That should not make Shanghai feel any better.

For example, a 28-year-old employee has left the city for the time being – not because of the heat, but because of a bad mood and fear of a new closure.

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