For over two weeks the financial capital of China, Shanghai, has been locked down tight. Some 26 million people languish in their apartments, staring at their now-empty refrigerators, unable to set foot outside to forage for food for fear of arrest and incarceration.
Foreigners are in the same predicament, as one complained on Twitter:
Day 16 of our COVID lockdown in Shanghai today and food is the key thing on people’s minds. We aren’t allowed to leave home so delivery is the only way I was up at 6 am yesterday trying to get any kind of delivery but nothing was available all day. So far, same results today
Yet the homebound are the lucky ones.
The unlucky ones are those who test positive for COVID each day, like the 17,077 Shanghainese who did on Wednesday. Symptomatic or not — and nine out of 10 show no signs of illness — they are hauled off to hastily erected quarantine camps.
The Shanghai lockdown, the largest since the first Wuhan lockdown two years ago, is China’s latest attempt to achieve COVID Zero. An army of health care workers, some 38,000 in all, have been sent to Shanghai, with instructions to completely stamp out the coronavirus within the city. They are frantically testing and retesting everyone.