China’s Disney resort closed after record daily surge in Covid infections

China’s Disney resort closed after record daily surge in Covid infections
To rein in cases, authorities have ordered mass screenings and school closures

China’s financial hub of Shanghai on Monday reported a record surge in daily Covid-19 infections, prompting the closure of the Disney resort in the city, even as authorities worked to contain the Omicron variant-induced outbreak.

The city reported 24 new domestically transmitted cases with symptoms, along with 734 local asymptomatic infections, according to the official data.

“Shanghai is standing the test of a severe epidemic,” said Wu Jinglei, director of Shanghai Health Commission, according to the South China Morning Post.

While the number of infections are fewer compared to those observed globally, the city was quick to follow the Chinese government’s policy of “dynamic clearance”, with health authorities ordering mass screenings since last Wednesday and closure of schools.

To rein in cases, authorities also shut down Shanghai Disney Resort on Monday till further notice.

“When it comes to the entire situation of epidemic control and prevention that we are facing, it is very complex and serious, and it is also a very big test for us,” Mr Wu said at a news briefing, adding that Shanghai will stick with “dynamic clearance”.

The severity of outbreak responses by Shanghai’s compounds and residential districts varied, with some opting for lockdowns for two weeks, while others residing in sealed-off districts not being informed about the period for which they would be forced to stay home, prompting a frustrated response from users on social media.

“Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen have had three different epidemic response models,” said a user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo network.

“Hong Kong is the worst but will be the first to open up,” the user by the name zangyn said in a widely-shared post. “Shenzhen is the most effective, and Shanghai may be the most tiring, and even the most miserable.”

According to data from the National Health Commission for Sunday, mainland China reported a total of 1,947 new cases with symptoms and 2,384 asymptomatic cases. A day earlier, it had reported 1,656 symptomatic and 2,177 asymptomatic cases.

There were no deaths reported on Sunday and the toll remained unchanged at 4,638.

China, which does not classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed cases, has reported over 37,000 cases of local infections since March this year, with the overall reported cases for the pandemic reaching 132,226 cases.

(Additional reporting from agencies)