China’s financial hub of Shanghai witnessed an exponential surge in Covid-19 cases with over 3,500 new infections on Sunday. The threat in the region mounted as most of these cases turned out to be asymptomatic — meaning, people who tested positive for the coronavirus were not showing symptoms of Covid-19.
According to reports, a record 3,450 asymptomatic Covid cases were reported in Shanghai on Sunday, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the nationwide total.
There were as many as 50 symptomatic cases, the city government was quoted as saying on Monday.
Meanwhile, China has reported more than 56,000 confirmed cases nationwide this month, with the surge in Jilin accounting for most of them.
The city government in Shanghai has decided to lock down the region in a phased manner for testing beginning Monday morning and ending April 1.
Shanghai’s latest citywide Covid-19 testing is aimed at completely eliminating potential hidden risks and clearing all cases as soon as possible, said Wu Fan, a local epidemic expert, at a news conference on Monday.
It is believed to be the biggest Covid-related disruption to hit the city so far, news agency Reuters reported.
Shanghai’s Disneyland theme park is among the businesses that closed earlier. Automaker Tesla is also suspending production at its Shanghai plant, according to media reports.
Panic buying was reported on Sunday, with supermarket shelves cleared of food, beverages and household items. Additional barriers were being erected in neighborhoods Monday, with workers in hazmat suits staffing checkpoints.