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Shanghai reports the first deaths from the current COVID-19 outbreak

BEIJING – Shanghai authorities on Monday reported the first COVID-19 deaths from the latest outbreak in China’s most populous and wealthy city.

All three of those who died were elderly, had underlying diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, city health commission inspector Wu Ganyu told reporters.

“After they were hospitalized, their condition worsened and they died after attempts to save them were unsuccessful,” Wu said.

The death toll climbs to 4,641, the number of people who have succumbed to the disease since the virus was first detected in downtown Wuhan in late 2019, China says.

Most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents are confined to their homes for a third week as China continues to apply a “zero tolerance” strategy to contain the outbreak and calls for isolation of anyone potentially infected.

China said on Monday 23,362 people had tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, most of them showing no symptoms and almost all in Shanghai.

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The city has reported more than 300,000 cases since late March. Shanghai began easing restrictions last week, despite officials warning the city is not controlling its outbreak.

Shanghai, home to China’s largest port and premier stock exchange, seemed unprepared for such a massive undertaking.

Residents lacked food and essential necessities while enduring lockdown conditions, and tens of thousands of people placed under medical observation have been segregated in overcrowded facilities where lights are always on, bins overflow, food is inadequate and hot showers are not available.

Anyone who tests positive but has few or no symptoms must spend a week in a quarantine facility.

Concerns about the economic impact of the government’s hard-line policies have increased.

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China’s economic growth surged to a still sluggish 4.8% year-on-year in the first three months of 2022 as lockdowns curtailed production in major industrial cities. Official data showed that growth accelerated from 4% in the previous quarter.

While the ruling Communist Party is calling for more targeted preventive measures, local officials have routinely enacted strict regulations, possibly fearing being fired or fined for outbreaks in their areas.

In the city of Wenzhou, which has had only a handful of cases, authorities have approved rewards of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,800) for information about people who falsify their health status, online news site The Paper reported.

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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/04/18/shanghai-reports-1st-deaths-from-current-covid-19-outbreak/ Shanghai reports the first deaths from the current COVID-19 outbreak

Jaclyn Diaz

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