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Shanghai imposes lockdown in effort to control omicron outbreak

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Shanghai announced on Sunday that it will introduce a series of lockdowns in an effort to test the entire population of 26 million people for COVID-19 amid outbreaks of the omicron variant. 

The lockdowns and testing will begin on Monday and last until April 1 for areas east of the Huangpu River. Areas west of the river will then undergo restrictions and testing from April 1 through April 5, according to The New York Times

With the exception of individuals providing essential services, people will not be allowed to leave their homes,  nonessential businesses will be closed and transit will be halted, the Times reported.

The move comes after Shanghai reported more than 2,600 COVID-19 cases on Sunday after just a handful of cases earlier this month.

In contrast to other cities in China that have taken a zero-tolerance approach to COVID, the measures are closest to a full-scale lockdown that Shanghai has seen amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. 

Just last week, officials in the city denied rumors that it had implemented a city-wide lockdown as COVID-19 cases surged to nearly 1,000 on Tuesday.

At that time, authorities said they would take a “slicing and gridding” approach to test neighborhoods for infections rather than shutting the city down. 

“Please do not believe and spread rumors,” city government officials added at the time.

Tags COVID lockdowns Shanghai

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