China has announced its biggest citywide lockdown since the COVID-19 outbreak began more than two years ago.
China will lock down Shanghai over nine days for Covid testing after it reported a new daily record of asymptomatic infections.
The city of Shanghai will be locked down in two phases over nine days while authorities conduct Covid-19 testing.
The important financial center has battled a new wave of infections for nearly a month, although case numbers are not high by some international standards.
Authorities said they will split Shanghai in two for lockdown, with some areas shutting down between March 28 and April 1 and others shutting down between April 1 and 5.
The city government said that public transportation will be suspended during the lockdown, while businesses and factories will either stop operating or switch to remote work.
Those who provide public services or provide food will be exempted.
Authorities said public transportation will be suspended and businesses and factories must halt operations or work remotely.
The city government posted the instructions on its WeChat account, asking the public to “support and understand the city’s epidemic prevention and control work.”
“The public has been asked to support, understand and cooperate with the city’s epidemic prevention and control work, and to participate in DNA testing in an orderly manner,” the government said in a statement.
Shanghai, China’s most populous city, recorded 2,631 new asymptomatic cases on Saturday, accounting for nearly 60% of the total asymptomatic new cases in China that day.
As of March 26, mainland China has confirmed 143,240 cases of the COVID-19 virus, and the death toll is 4,638.
It’s China’s commercial capital and by some accounts, the country’s largest city – but now one of the hardest-hit areas as China struggles to contain a resurgence of the virus with Omicron, which has led to a spike in new cases.
Officials had so far said that the port and financial center in eastern China should continue to work for the economy.
The tiered approach to this shutdown means that half of the city will remain operational at any one time.