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Shanghai – Biggest COVID Outbreak Since Start of Pandemic

People line up for coronavirus tests outside a hospital in Shanghai. Photo: AP

PUIBLISED: South China Morning Post

China’s zero-Covid policy tested as Shanghai’s worst outbreak traced to quarantine hotel

  • Shanghai, once a model city in China’s Covid-19 fightback, is tackling its biggest outbreak of the pandemic
  • Quarantine or isolation offer no guarantee of remaining Covid-free, notes Hong Kong-based virologist

Shanghai’s fresh Covid-19 outbreak was caused by management oversight at a quarantine hotel, according to local authorities, exposing the challenges for China’s zero-Covid policy as it battles the coronavirus for a third year.

“The virus came from an imported case polluting the environment, which led to domestic infections and spread due to regulatory oversight,” a short notice from the Shanghai government said on Friday.

It further identified the area of oversight as the Huating Hotel, a designated quarantine centre for travellers from outside the mainland.

The eastern metropolis of Shanghai, a bustling financial hub, was seen as a model city in China’s Covid-19 fightback, with its precise contact-tracing and pandemic prevention measures that kept public inconveniences to a minimum.

However, the city of 26 million is now battling its worst outbreak since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in 2020, with more than 300 infections reported this month. Shanghai had logged only 400 cases and seven deaths in the two years before the latest wave.