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Shanghai lockdown triggers complaints as COVID-19 cases rise

BEIJING (AP) – COVID-19 cases in China’s largest city of Shanghai are still rising with millions isolated at home under a sweeping lockdown, as the draconian “zero tolerance” approach to the pandemic increasingly draws complaints from residents fed up with the restrictions.

Health officials yesterday reported 438 confirmed cases over the previous 24 hours, along with 7,788 asymptomatic ones. Both figures were up slightly from the day before, while the northeastern province of Jilin posted a combined 4,455 cases yesterday, also marking an increase from Saturday.

While small by the standards of some countries, the daily increases are some of the largest since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Shanghai with its 26 million people last week began a two-stage lockdown, with residents of the eastern Pudong section supposed to be allowed to leave their homes Friday, while their neighbours in the western Puxi section underwent their own four-day isolation period.

Despite that assurance, millions in Pudong continue to be confined to their homes amid complaints over food deliveries and the availability of medications and health services.

Notices delivered to residents said they were required to self-test for COVID-19 daily and take precautions including wearing masks at home and avoiding contact with family members – measures not widely enforced since the early days of the pandemic.

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