(CTN News) – Shanghai, China’s largest city, reported 12 new COVID-related deaths on Friday. As of April 21, 2,700 cases a day are being filed daily at the financial hub of the country, the “world’s most brutal lockdown.” This is the city’s biggest outbreak of asymptomatic cases yet.
Government officials informed Arab News that the patients who died on Friday averaged 88 years old. In addition, the deceased individuals had underlying health conditions and were unvaccinated.
Shanghai continues to see an increase in cases and reports of new deaths as citizens are frustrated by strict government measures, a lack of basic supplies, and online censorship. Thousands have also taken to the streets to protest China’s much-criticized ‘Zero-COVID’ strategy. Crowds of starving rioters ransacked and looted a supermarket as the lockdown continued for the third week.
China is yet to introduce mRNA vaccines despite a fresh outbreak
Despite a new tide of COVID cases, China has yet to introduce its own mRNA vaccines and has refrained from purchasing the vaccines from their producers. Expert Jaya Dantas, who is monitoring the Shanghai outbreak for the Curtin School of Population Health in Australia, says “One step that needs immediate implementation is to boost the booster vaccination dose for the elderly and other vulnerable groups and to see if mRNA vaccines can be used.”
On Friday, medical experts at the Chinese Disease Prevention and Control Center reported that vaccines manufactured in China have so far proved effective.
Experts said, “the data is strongly indicative of the public importance of full and booster vaccination, particularly for the elderly.” Meanwhile, several cases outside quarantine zones totaled 218 on Friday, down from 250 the previous day.
Xi Jinping to stick to ‘zero-COVID’ policy
In Shanghai, COVID measures were reimposed after deaths and hospitalizations increased in the past few days. In areas with high infection rates, locals mandated RTPCR tests. Shanghai authorities claim the lockdowns will only be lifted after virus transmission outside quarantine areas has been halted, according to a Global Times report.
Xi Jinping said the country would adhere to its ‘zero-COVID’ policy with a “more forceful approach” across all aspects. Jinping said he would implement stronger measures to “defend people’s lives and health” at the Boao Forum for Asia.