Shanghai announced Thursday, June 9th that it would close a district with 2.7 million residents on Saturday to screen all of its population, despite deconfinement of the Chinese metropolis, which began just a few days earlier.
Last week, the city lifted many of the restrictions placed on its 25million residents. They had been held captive since April or early April to combat an outbreak of Covid-19, the most severe virulent disease since 2020. However, the deconfinement is not complete. Several hundred thousand people are still stranded in their homes due to positive cases.
Minhang, a district in southwest Shanghai, will be closed on Saturday morning. Residents will need to undergo a PCR test. They added that the closure would be lifted once samples have been collected, but did not specify a date or time or what steps will be taken in case of positive results.
All people who test positive under the zero Covid national healthcare strategy are theoretically placed in quarantine
Internet users were concerned about the possibility of a general reconfiguration of the city after Thursday's announcement. "Will the Minhang district's lockdown be lifted once the samples have been collected?" A user on the Weibo social networking site asks: "What happens if positive results are achieved? Is the lockdown going to continue? ", worries one.
On Thursday, the City Hall denied rumors that Shanghai's rest would be locked up again.
Although the confinement has had a devastating effect on the economy, the metropolis of 26 millions inhabitants has been reviving for a few days. The subways and buses are operating again while Shanghainese enjoy the city's bars, restaurants, and parks. However, some residents are stuck at home which can sometimes lead to tension with the authorities.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported nine positive cases in Shanghai that were not present on Thursday.
Beijing, the Chinese capital, is slowly returning to normalcy. It closed bars, restaurants, gyms, parks and bars last month in an effort to eliminate an outbreak. However, it was much smaller than Shanghai.
However, the city's principal district of Chaoyang ordered Thursday the closing of bars and clubs after a few cases were discovered, according to state media.