Covid deaths increase in Shanghai and Beijing speaks of difficult situation

Shanghai recorded 39 deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday, the highest number since the start of its confinement weeks ago, while the Chinese capital Beijing warned of a difficult situation due to the increase in infections.

Shanghai has been under a near-total lockdown since early April, a move that has hit supply chains across the country.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is struggling to eradicate its worst Covid-19 outbreak in two years with severe lockdowns and mass testing, while maintaining its “covid zero” policy that has battered the economy and morale.

Shanghai, China’s largest city, reported its first deaths on April 18, despite detecting thousands of cases daily in recent weeks.

Data from China’s National Health Commission indicates that 39 people died in Shanghai on Sunday, bringing the total to 87 in recent days in the city, which has reported nearly 22,000 new coronavirus infections.

Meanwhile, Beijing reported 22 new infections, following warnings from a top official in the capital that the city must take urgent action.

Pang Xinghuo, a health official in the capital, said preliminary observations suggested that Covid-19 had “spread invisibly” for a week, affecting “schools, tour groups and many families”.

“The risk of continuous and hidden transmission is high and the situation is difficult,” Tian Wei, an official at the Beijing prefecture, told reporters.

“The entire city must act immediately,” he added.

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