Shanghai’s daily COVID-19 infection numbers have gradually declined, amid the ongoing city campaign to achieve zero community transmission, even as the death toll keeps rising.

The city reported 16,980 infections on Monday, 13 percent fewer than Sunday, according to Sun Xiaodong, deputy director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite the city’s infection rates still fluctuating at a high level, more than 90 percent of new cases were found during lockdown or central quarantine, he told the city’s daily COVID-19 press briefing yesterday.

On Monday, only 217 positive cases were found during nucleic acid screening at local communities, the same as Sunday.

Sun revealed that there has been some resurgence in old residential communities in downtown, urban villages in the urban-rural fringe areas, at large-scale enterprises and other key regions and sites, where management and control measures have not been fully implemented.

Due to the contagiousness of the dominant Omicron variant, cross infections are highly likely in such places, which inevitably feature gathering of people, Sun noted.

Several measures in the city’s ongoing campaign, including transferring positive cases more quickly, enhancing screening among high-risk groups and environmental disinfection, are expected to curb the spread of the coronavirus in such key areas.

Shanghai reported 52 COVID-19 deaths on Monday — one more than Sunday — bringing the total since the resurgence began in March to 190, Zhao Dandan, vice director of the Shanghai Health Commission, revealed.

The average age of Monday’s fatalities was 83.1 years, and the oldest was 100. Apart from a 33-year-old man who died of acute cardiac arrest, all the others had severe underlying conditions. The man had been fully vaccinated.

Among the city’s deaths, over 86 percent were aged above 70 years and only 12 among them had been vaccinated.

Of the COVID-19 patients, 259 have severe symptoms and 28 are in critical condition, a 31 percent increase over the previous day.

Meanwhile, a total of 14,812 COVID-19 patients were discharged from local designated and makeshift hospitals on Monday after making a full recovery.

Zhao said that the city has also been taking strict measures to manage people who plan to leave Shanghai in a bid to prevent the pandemic from spreading further.

Those who have to leave the city must have a negative PCR test result within the last 48 hours and a negative antigen test result within the last 24 hours, which will be checked at the city’s airports and other transport stations.

Meanwhile, construction workers who build makeshift hospitals, truck drivers, nucleic acid sample collection staff and other groups staying in Shanghai will undergo closed-loop management to guarantee the safety of their accommodation and evacuation, Zhao said.

Nearly 200,000 medics from other Chinese areas, including neighboring Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, have been assisting in Shanghai’s massive polymerase chain reaction testing. About 10 million residents are being tested every day.

To relieve the burden on the city government, these medical teams opt to leave Shanghai on the same day they arrive. They often have to depart from their hometowns early in the morning and immediately take part in the PCR sample collection on arrival, Zhao said.

Another 25,000 medics from 17 provinces and even the military have been working day and night in hazmat suits at local designated and makeshift hospitals.

“Shanghai residents will forever remember their contribution and friendship,” a grateful Zhao noted.

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