Shanghai to lock down in two phases for mass COVID-19 testing

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March 27 (UPI) — Shanghai will lockdown in two phases beginning Monday to conduct mass COVID-19 testing amid a surge in cases in China.

In the first phase, the eastern half of the city including the financial district and industrial parks, which is home to 11 million residents, will go into lockdown for four days, with the remaining 14 million residents in the western part of the city entering lockdown for the next four days.

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During the lockdowns, residents will be barred from leaving their homes and all non-essential workers must work remotely.

Private cars will also be prohibited from traveling on roads unless necessary and public transit such as buses, subways, ferries and taxis in locked-down areas will also be suspended.

The decision to lock down Shanghai came after the city reported 2,678 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, accounting for about half of all new cases recorded in the country that day, according to the National Health Commission.

News of the lockdown led residents to scramble to buy groceries and other supplies, as Shanghai’s government sought to assure that residents would be provided with basic supplies such as electricity, fuel and food.

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Shanghai’s lockdown comes a week after the city of Shenzen, China’s tech hub which is home to companies such as Apple supplier Foxconn, phone maker Huawei, electric carmaker BYD and Internet services provider Tencent was placed under similar restrictions earlier this month.