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China Imposes Strict Lockdowns as Omicron Variant Surges

Chinese officials lockdown 25 million people in Shanghai after a new surge of Covid cases. Shanghai, an important financial center, has been battling a new wave of COVID-19 infections for over four weeks. Daily cases have risen to more than 13,000, though these numbers are still low in comparison globally.

Shanghai Residents Angry

According to some Shanghai residents, the restrictions mean ‘no one is allowed to leave their homes, not even to collect essential provisions’. Others lament challenges of ordering basic amenities online due to a shortage of supplies and staff. There are reports of rage on Chinese social media, with vexed residents complaining they are struggling to order food and other basic supplies.

Credit: Héctor Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Major Companies shut production

A major producer of Apple’s iPhone has stopped its operations due to the lockdown in Shanghai. Another tech company, Pegatron, has equally suspended production at two of its factories in China. Japanese Newspaper Nikkei reports Apple MacBook producer, Quanta, and iPad maker, Compal Electronics, have all stopped operations.

These shutdowns are stoking fears of further slowing China’s economy and disrupting the global supply chain.

One of the few independent media networks in China, Caixin, reports close contacts of those infected will be relocated. The Chinese government’s zero-covid policy system has suffered a significant setback after mocking other countries for not prioritizing their citizens' health by opening up.

The lockdowns are continuing. Jilin City (3.6 million people), Changchun (nine million), Xuzhou (nine million), the steel city of Tangshan (7.7 million) and various other towns and villages are keeping their residents under strict lockdown.

Omicron Cases in the US

There is a surge of cases in the Northeast which has resulted in Philadelphia reimposing indoor mask mandates. Some colleges are requiring masks again.

Even if masks come back, Americans will not face shutdowns like the one in Shanghai, where people cannot leave their homes for essential supplies.


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