China's NHC reiterated its commitment to its "dynamic" zero-tolerance policy on Wednesday as local authorities in Shanghai confirmed the worst fears of the financial hub's approximately 26 million residents: what was initially introduced as a 9-day staggered lockdown has been extended "indefinitely" as the number of newly confirmed cases soared to a new record on Tuesday.
Authorities counted more than 13,000 new cases in Shanghai alone, more than half of the 20,000+ new cases across the entire country. According to Bloomberg, these tallies have surpassed the toll from the early days of the pandemic, when the virus was still raging in Wuhan.
To be sure, the surge in cases is partially a factor of the latest mass-testing regime, but that hasn't stopped the CCP from imposing the most draconian lockdown since Wuhan (as we explained earlier, backing down would be an intolerable capitulation for President Xi and local authorities, whose careers are now in jeopardy due to factors that are completely out of their control).
Following an unceasing torrent of scandals, including separating COVID positive children from their parents, covering up nursing home deaths and failing to address shortages of food and medicine, the population of Shanghai has reached its breaking point.
Many have accused the CCP of violating its contract with the people. And in one particularly memorable scene, thousands of Shanghaiers took to their balconies to chant in protest, in defiance of the CCP's lockdown strictures.
Depictions of the truly dystopian scene spread like wildfire on American social media...
Shanghai's 25 million people under lockdown indefinitely. Chinese social media shows some breaking out of lockdown to protest, chanting: "we want freedom"; "why are you starving us?"— Selina Wang (@selinawangtv) April 6, 2022
Much of the dissent is censored. Most of videos in our story were erased from the internet @cnn pic.twitter.com/QUHrfqEhiG
...as locals chanted from their balconies, government drones responded and warned them to retreat inside and not "open their windows" (apparently a violation of the lockdown rules).
As seen on Weibo: Shanghai residents go to their balconies to sing & protest lack of supplies. A drone appears: “Please comply w covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.” https://t.co/0ZTc8fznaV pic.twitter.com/pAnEGOlBIh— Alice Su (@aliceysu) April 6, 2022
Unable to even walk their dogs, stories of locals allowing their dogs to poop and pee inside their apartments have spread like wildfire. Here's more from Al Jazeera:
Now five days into the latest lockdown, Vicky, who prefers not to share her family name, has found herself doing something entirely unexpected: trying to convince a friend’s rescue dog, Mocha, that it is ok to go to the toilet inside her apartment.
"She is currently staring at me right now with sad puppy eyes like 'why aren’t we going out?' and I don’t know how to explain it to her," Vicky told Al Jazeera by Skype. "So far, I have just tried to communicate to her that one, if you poop on the floor, I won’t be mad at you, and two, if you pee and bathroom it’s fine, I will just hose it down. It’s not a big deal."
Shanghai reported 311 new symptomatic cases and more than 16,000 asymptomatic infections on April 5, the local government announced on Wednesday, with both measures higher than the day before. The lockdown was supposed to end yesterday, but has been extended indefinitely until authorities have had an opportunity to 'review the data', as China Daily reported.
As we reported yesterday, roughly 40,000 personnel (38K military and 2,000 'medics') have been dispatched to the city. Many volunteers and medical workers get up early to prepare for the daily testing and other duties (while others stay up all night).
However, a new controversy has emerged as the government has reportedly started murdering the pets of COVID-positive individuals.
Here is some fun news.— Perri Chase 💚💰🔥🖤🌵✨ (@perribc) April 4, 2022
1- China is separating Covid positive children from their parents
2- Murdering the pets of Covid positive patients in one city
3 - has all of Shanghai on strict lockdown
Just remember whose plans the lefties were implementing…https://t.co/hu3BG9ih6i
The western media has reported incidences of workers crowding on to factory floors to sleep (something we first reported more than a week ago).
Meanwhile, stories of sick Shanghaiers being denied medical care have stoked a panic among the locals, exacerbating existing fears about food shortages as millions are now being forced to rely on the government to deliver supplies.
The economic impact from the latest round of lockdowns can already be seen in the data: just last night, China's Caixin Services PMI crashed to 42.0 in March from 50.2 in February, the largest single-month decline since February 2020.
And although authorities have done everything in their power to keep ports open, congestion surged to its highest level in recent memory in March.