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Covid-19 Cases Surge in China; Shanghai Residents Asked to Stay In on Christmas


Shanghai urged its residents to stay at home this weekend, seeking a toned-down Christmas as COVID-19 rages in China after the curbs were lifted.

Shanghai Municipal Health Commission on Saturday urged young people in particular to avoid crowded gatherings, due to the ease of spreading the coronavirus and low temperatures.

The Omicron variant is surging weeks after the authorities abruptly ended their zero-COVID policy, lifting strict testing requirements and travel restrictions as China becomes the last major country to move toward living with the virus.

While many have welcomed the easing, families and the health system was unprepared for the resulting surge of infections. Hospitals are scrambling for beds and blood, pharmacies for drugs, and authorities are racing to build clinics.

Shanghai typically hosts a large Christmas-themed market in a luxury shopping area along Nanjing West Road, and restaurants and retailers offer promotions to drum up business. But the spread of Omicron is dampening celebrations.

Many Shanghai restaurants have canceled Christmas parties normally held for regulars, while hotels have capped reservations due to staff shortages, said Jacqueline Mocatta, who works in the hospitality industry.

“There’s only a certain amount of customers we can accept given our manpower, with a majority of team members who are unwell at the moment,” she said.

Source : Tempo.co