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in Shanghai, wave of departures among expats incarcerated

Construction of a temporary hospital at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai on April 8, 2022.

Facing the extension of Shanghai’s detention, the US State Department has… “ordered the departure of non-essential government employees and their relatives from the Shanghai Consulate General,” according to a press release on Monday, April 11. Document urges not to travel to Jilin province and Shanghai “due to Covid-related restrictions, including the risk of seeing parents and children separated”nor in Hong Kong, “by arbitrary application of the law”† Shanghai imposed strict confinement on its 25 million residents at the end of March due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, but logistical problems are mounting: many residents complain about a lack of food, access to hospitals is complicated and more than 100,000 positive people are currently in detention centers with spartan conditions.

For China it is a “political manipulation” aimed at denigrating China’s track record in dealing with the outbreak. china is “very dissatisfied and strongly opposed to any instrumentalization and politicization” of this evacuation, criticized for the press a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Zhao Lijian. But the Americans’ decision reflects growing concerns within the expat community. Many of them packed their bags to leave China during the lockdown.

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Embassy says US diplomats informed Chinese authorities “of their concerns for the safety and well-being of American citizens”† Shanghai reported 26,330 cases on Wednesday, a new record, but the rise is now slower, suggesting the outbreak may be leveling off.

The separation of children, a border

In recent days, departure plans among expats have multiplied. “The separation of children is really the limit for me: if you have a child and you cannot guarantee his safety, that we can take him at any time to send him to a center, if he is not even positive, there is a big problem”, says a Frenchman, father of a little girl, who, together with his pregnant wife, decided to leave Shanghai as soon as possible. In early April, the publication of a video showing dozens of children isolated in a Shanghai hospital, five or six in bed bars, many in China, shocked. Since then, at least one isolation center has been able to accommodate families, but many hospitals continue to separate parents and children in case of different virological status.

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