The new lockdown decree in China

In recent days, the significant rise in Covid-19 cases has caused concern in China, especially among the residents of Shanghai. On Sunday (27th), the city reported 3,500 new cases, leading the country to adopt strict measures.

Today on the Modal blog, we will explain the reasons behind this new decree.

In this post, you will see:
The new decree
Two-stage lockdown
The ‘zero Covid’ policy

The New Decree: The Largest Quarantine Since the Pandemic Began
China has issued the largest quarantine decree since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago. Shanghai, the largest city in the country with 25 million inhabitants, will enter a two-stage lockdown over nine days. During this period, authorities will conduct tests on the entire population.

Global Economic Impact
The new restrictions in Shanghai have significant repercussions on the global commodities market since China is one of the largest consumers of oil and iron ore. After recording 2,600 cases on Saturday (26th), the highest daily number since the pandemic began, Chinese authorities decided to implement more stringent measures.

Comparatively, Brazil reported 10,200 cases on Sunday (27th), with the last daily moving average below 2,700 occurring in April 2020. At the peak of the Omicron variant in February 2022, Brazil reached a daily moving average of 189,000 cases.

Two-Stage Lockdown: How It Will Work
The lockdown in Shanghai will be divided into two phases. The eastern part of the city will face restrictions from Monday (28th) to April 1st, while the western part will be confined from April 1st to April 5th. During this period, public transportation will be suspended, and companies or factories will have to halt operations or work remotely.

Shanghai, China’s commercial capital, is the largest city to be quarantined due to its high population density. The city is currently one of the most affected regions by the coronavirus, with the government trying to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.

‘Zero Covid’ Policy: An Ongoing Challenge
The recent increase in cases in China poses a significant challenge to the “zero Covid-19” strategy the country has adopted since the pandemic began. This policy involves rapid lockdowns and aggressive restrictions to contain new outbreaks.

While many countries, such as South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, have relaxed their restrictions, China maintains a strict approach. The Omicron variant, more transmissible than previous ones, has led to an increase in cases globally, though with lower hospitalization and death rates due to the availability of vaccines and effective treatments.

Despite these measures, some residents of Shanghai have expressed frustration with the constant testing cycles, suggesting that the costs of a “zero Covid” policy are becoming unsustainable.

By adopting these measures, China continues its fight to contain the pandemic, maintaining its strict virus control policy while the world closely watches developments in one of the largest global cities.