Disney resort in Shanghai has been shut down amid daily local COVID infections

Employees wearing face masks stand in front of the Shanghai Disneyland theme park
FILE PHOTO: Employees wearing face masks stand outside the Shanghai Disneyland theme park reopening after a closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at the Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

March 21, 2022

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s financial hub Shanghai on Monday reported a record daily rise in local COVID-19 infections as authorities scramble to test residents and curb the Omicron variant while the Disney resort was closed until further notice.

Relatively unscathed by the coronavirus until recent weeks, Shanghai reported 24 new domestically transmitted COVID cases with confirmed symptoms for Sunday and 734 local asymptomatic infections, official data showed on Monday.

It is the fourth straight day that local asymptomatic infections have increased in Shanghai.

Though the number of infections is tiny by global standards, Shanghai has been quick to follow China’s “dynamic eviction” policy, closing schools and testing housing complexes to stem the spread of the virus.

The Shanghai Disney Resort also closed the city from Monday until further notice.

“The whole epidemic control and prevention situation we are facing is very complex and serious, and it is also a very big test for us,” city health official Wu Jinglei said in a news conference.

Shanghai will stick to the “dynamic release,” Wu added, saying he hopes continued public support for the policy.

But there were signs of frustration with the district-by-district ad hoc approach.

“Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen had three different epidemic response models,” said a user of China’s Twitter-like Weibo network.

“Hong Kong is the worst but will open up first,” the writer, who goes by the name zangyn, said in a widely shared post. “Shenzhen is the most effective and Shanghai is perhaps the most exhausting and even the most miserable.”

The severity of outbreak responses in Shanghai’s compounds and neighborhoods has varied, with some opting for lockdowns of up to two weeks. Some in other lockdown areas said they weren’t told how long they would have to stay home.

The community committees that have helped organize testing programs have also encountered challenges. One Compound distributed tokens to prevent outsiders from taking advantage of free trials.

Including the infections in Shanghai, the Chinese mainland reported a total of 1,947 new locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms on Sunday, up from 1,656 a day earlier, data from the National Health Commission showed.

The number of new local asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 2,384 from 2,177 the day before. The death toll remained unchanged at 4,638, with no new deaths.

As of Sunday, mainland China had reported 132,226 cases with confirmed symptoms, both among locals and those arriving from outside.

(Reporting by David Stanway, Roxanne Liu, Stella Qiu, Yifan Wang, Brenda Goh, Engen Tham and the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) Disney resort in Shanghai has been shut down amid daily local COVID infections

Bobby Allyn

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