Friday, December 2

More than 37 million people in China, confined by omicron


It’s a worn headline China suffers the worst crisis coronavirus from wuhan. They have deserved it for more than two years the successive regrowth who flouted his zero tolerance policy. Its magnitude is unprecedented. Those outbreaks of progressive restlessness had tens or hundreds of cases daily. China announced 5,100 new infections from omicron on Tuesday after four consecutive days exceeding a thousand.

The numbers of infections and even more their dispersion are worrying. China is not facing a localized focus that is enough to isolate it. More than 37 million people are locked up at home. A dozen cities have ordered lockdowns complete and many others have imposed restrictions movement of different degrees. Some twenty provinces and municipalities have reported cases and local experts recently warned that the pandemic grows exponentially.

is locked up shenzhen, the southern macro-city, since Sunday. It is not just any city: almost 20 million inhabitants, bastion of the technological revolution and the fourth largest port in the world. “My real estate complex has given me three cards for the whole week that allow me to go out for two hours to buy essentials. They look at my bag to check that I have food when I come back,” Yao Fangming, an entertainment industry consultant and resident of Futian district, reports by phone. The obligation of proof PCR daily, on the other hand, is carried out with laxity. The confinement was supposed to end on Friday but it has already been extended until Sunday. Official announcements abound that recall the obligation to telework at home, the streets are empty and only authorized vehicles circulate, he reveals.

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Towards absolute confinement

Shanghai, with 25 million inhabitants, days ago closed schools and public parks, canceled long-distance bus lines and will divert a hundred international flights to reduce the pressure of quarantine hotels and isolation facilities. Their authorities have promised that they will not order absolute confinement, but the trend is going there. After the surgical confinement of buildings after some positive detected, preventive measures are now issued for entire districts. May, public relations for a fashion company, answers from the supermarket. In the fruit section there are only oranges and she doesn’t like oranges. “The concierge of my building told me this afternoon that the entire neighborhood will be closed tomorrow. The official communication usually arrives at midnight and then it is too late to go shopping. I guess it will be two days but in other areas it already adds up to three”. Her daughter’s daycare and her office have been closed since Monday.

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Jilinthe northeastern province and border with North Korea, is the hardest hit. She concentrates almost half of the cases and her authorities send contradictory messages. “It is a serious and complicated situation” but they will have mastered it “in a week”, they have promised amid skepticism. Its 30 million inhabitants cannot leave the provincial limits, an unprecedented measure since it was applied to hubei in the hardest days of Wuhan. More than 7,000 soldiers have been mobilized and hospitals are being set up for isolation on the run. The nine million inhabitants of Changchun already add up to nine rounds of tests and photos on social networks recently showed their waiting in the snow.

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The local press pointed out this week that China “is capable of controlling” all the outbreaks and recalled the proven effectiveness of the recipe that includes massive confinements, tests for all and strict controls. But the omicron variant, found in 80% of the positives, is a more demanding rival. Its milder symptoms and shorter recovery time incubation make it difficult to identify and isolate those infected. Australia or South Korea, which had controlled the previous variants, have succumbed to this one and assumed coexistence. The successes of the Chinese fight against the pandemic, the country’s shielding against virus and mortality avoided, but the debate on its expiration date returns. To retire it, remember that almost 90% of the population has received the vaccination complete and the world walks towards the opening. Internal studies, however, warn that a lax policy would cause a figure of dead that neither society nor the government would tolerate.


www.elperiodico.com

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