China Announces Biggest Lockdown, Covering 26 Million in Shanghai

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China’s financial hub of Shanghai announced a two-phased lockdown on March 27, a day after city officials denied they planned a citywide lockdown amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Shanghai, one of China’s largest cities with 26 million people, had never implemented a full-scale citywide lockdown since the Chinese regime launched its zero-COVID playbook at the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.

But the current outbreak driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant of the virus appears to have put pressure on local officials to follow other Chinese cities, such as Changchun and Shenzhen, which in recent weeks have gone into lockdown, in imposing strict restrictions.

All residents east of the Huangpu River, which divides Shanghai, are being sealed in their homes from March 28 to April 1 to allow health workers to complete at least two rounds of mass testing, Shanghai authorities said in a notice released on March 27.

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