The 26 million residents of Shanghai, China, are now constrained by the proliferation of Covid-19 infections. This is what the deserted streets of the third most populous city in the world look like, where no one can move freely or go outside.
The wide avenues that stretch at the foot of residential buildings are deserted. Nor is there anyone in the streets that cross the business district and its huge glass and steel towers. There is no vehicle on the major traffic interchanges, where several lanes of traffic become entangled. These scenes are set in Shanghai, China, the third most populous city in the world. Since Tuesday, April 5, 2022, this vast megalopolis civildue to an increase in cases of infection with COVID-19† These restrictions on movement, gradually introduced in the municipality, have been extended to the city’s 26 million inhabitants. This is what it looks like on the spot.
26 million inhabitants screened
To really measure the impact of this incarceration, you need to see the city from the air. These images, captured by a drone and published by the British daily newspaper the guardshow how the streets of the megalopolis have been deflated.
How did we get here? This confinement begins on Monday 28 March 2022† At that point, the coronavirus epidemic bounces back through the Omicron variant. Shanghai then became the epicenter of a new wave of infections that hit all of China, which began to accelerate in early March.
Authorities are planning sector-by-sector restrictions first: it’s a matter of closing in the eastern part of the city for five days; than the western part for the same duration. The idea is to try to limit the impact of these measures, as Shanghai is the economic capital of China.
Friday 1er April, the western part of the city, in turn, is limited, as planned. Only here it is: The next day, the town hall announces a more or less strict enforcement of the containment measures in almost the entire eastern part of Shanghai. Almost everything is now under glass.
The following Monday, April 4, the military and thousands of health workers are deployed in Shanghai: they are conducting a massive screening campaign, in which the 26 million inhabitants are to be tested.
“Frustration and Anger”
These measures have far-reaching consequences. Because in China anyone who tests positive is isolated from uncontaminated people, theMedia agency France (AFP). Even asymptomatic. And even children. As a result, the youngest are separated from their parents if they test positive. Thousands of residents who tested positive have been locked up in rudimentary quarantine centers, Reuters reports.
Strict confinement annoys: “The frustration and anger are palpable, on posts published on social networks” on incarceration, the news agency notes Bloomberg† And condemn other residents, on the same platforms, condemn food shortages†
Thanks to the very large-scale screening campaign, authorities are seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases in the city. They therefore decide on Tuesday 5 April to extend the containment measures to all 26 million inhabitants, Reuters says again.
The confinement of the megalopolis is symptomatic of the limits of the strategy “ zero covid “, still in effect in China. This tactic essentially consists of eradicating the virus rather than living with it, by taking strict measures as soon as cases of contamination occur in a certain area. Out of this “zero Covid” policy comes the containment introduced by Shanghai, a kind of restriction left behind in many other parts of the world†