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This wasn't supposed to happen under China's zero-covid policy. But it is

By The Washington Post

29 Mar 2022 · 2 min read

For two years, China has boasted that its strict no-tolerance policy toward the pandemic was working, imposing draconian lockdowns that kept cases low. "Zero covid" became a watchword and was showcased by the Chinese government as a success story compared with chaotic responses and high death tolls in the United States and elsewhere. But now China is facing rapid spread of the omicron variant, and much is at stake for China's leaders, its economy and its vulnerable people.

The latest sign of distress is in Shanghai, with a population of 25 million, China's most populous city and key to its economy. With case counts rising into the thousands every day, the authorities announced a two-stage lockdown over nine days in an effort to test everyone and brake the spread. The first half of the lockdown, in the Pudong financial district east of the Huangpu River, took effect Monday, with residents confined to their homes as health-care workers fanned out to conduct tests. In the city's west, which will be locked down on April 1, people rushed to stockpile food, delivery services were overwhelmed, and supermarkets ran low on supplies. Offices and all businesses not considered essential are being closed and public transport suspended.

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