Lockdown key for Shanghai

( China Daily )

Updated: 2022-03-31

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Mass testing and citywide disinfection help reduce COVID-19 transmission

Shanghai's ongoing mass testing, both nucleic acid tests and self-administered antigen tests, is vital to reining in the spread of COVID-19 in the city, which is in the process of a two-phase lockdown, according to the Shanghai Health Commission.

A citywide disinfection campaign is being launched and facilities used for the disposal of medical waste are being increased to curb the spread of the virus, it was announced at a news conference on Wednesday.

Shanghai has adopted a new testing strategy since Monday, combining nucleic acid tests for residents in neighborhoods under lockdown, and self-administered antigen tests for residents living in neighborhoods that are not under lockdown.

Around 9.1 million residents living east of the Huangpu River have been placed under lockdown since 3 am Monday, and have been tested by Tuesday, according to Shanghai's health commission. Meanwhile, self-administered antigen tests for 10.87 million people west of the Huangpu River have been carried out.

"Both tests have shown a certain number of people with irregular results," said Wu Qianyu, a senior official at the municipal health commission. "The tests have played an important role in breaking the transmission chains of the virus in the city."

The current COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai has resulted in more than 24,000 infections so far.

A total of 23,896 asymptomatic cases are currently in medical observation while 659 cases with symptoms are receiving treatment in designated hospitals, the commission said.

On Tuesday, the city reported 5,982 new infections, 5,656 of which were asymptomatic.

"The surge of daily new infections has put pressure on the city's medical system," Wu said. "Several large venues are being reconfigured to become quarantine facilities."

The second round of nucleic acid testing for people east of the Huangpu River is expected to be completed by 5 am Friday, and then that side of the city can reopen. At the same time, residents to the west of the Huangpu River will be put in lockdown for nucleic acid testing until April 5.The health authority also announced a monthlong environment disinfection campaign.

Disinfection will be carried out in places where people gather, including office buildings, train and bus stations and shopping malls, as well as residential communities, schools and elderly care facilities.

Wu Huanyu, deputy director of the municipal center for disease control and prevention, said disinfection is part of the measures to curb the transmission of the virus.

The municipal and district governments will lead the disinfection campaign, and the corresponding commissions will be responsible for guiding disinfection on construction sites, public transportation, parks and public toilets.

Ren Juping, an official with the city's bureau of ecology and environment, said the city has built three central treatment facilities for medical waste with a capacity for processing 392 metric tons per day. The city's domestic waste incinerators have a capacity for processing 1,000 tons of waste per day and will also be used for medical waste.

The city produced 544 tons of medical waste on Tuesday, 48 percent of which was produced by designated quarantine facilities, and 10 percent from epidemic control and prevention measures, Ren said.

"The waste is double bagged and sealed and transported separately to incinerators for centralized treatment," she said. "All waste will be treated and disposed of properly on the same day it is produced."

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