Authorities began locking down some western areas of Shanghai two days ahead of schedule, as new COVID-19 cases in China’s most populous city jumped by a third despite stringent measures already in place to try to stop the virus spreading.
Home to 26 million people, China’s financial hub is in the third day of a lockdown officials are imposing by dividing the city roughly along the Huangpu River, splitting the historic centre west of the river from the eastern financial and industrial district of Pudong to allow for staggered mass tests.
While residents in the east have been locked down since Monday (March 28), those in the west were previously scheduled to start their four-day lockdown on Friday (April 1).
On Wednesday (March 30) Shanghai reported a record 5,656 asymptomatic COVID cases and 326 symptomatic cases for Tuesday (March 29), up from 4,381 new asymptomatic cases and 96 new cases with symptoms for the prior day. China reclassifies asymptomatic cases if and when they later develop symptoms.
Locking down a major metropolis like Shanghai full-scale would result in a 4% reduction in the national real gross domestic product.