China's Shanghai records a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases
People line up for nucleic acid tests at a hospital in Shanghai, March 26, 2022. /CFP

People line up for nucleic acid tests at a hospital in Shanghai, March 26, 2022. /CFP

Shanghai on Saturday saw a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, with 2,231 new asymptomatic cases, hitting a record.

Officials said Shanghai won't close its hospital emergency departments unless necessary, in order to ensure people's normal medical treatment, and it will continue to establish and improve emergency plans.

Shanghai has opened back-up hospitals and rebuilt centralized isolation and treatment centers in seven places, Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Heath Commission, said at a press conference.

Wu said that Shanghai will make scientific and accurate recommendations for epidemic containment, and conduct medical treatment immediately after environmental disinfection in accordance with regulations. Medical institutions must ensure that critically ill patients receive timely treatment.

About lockdown

Given the city's important role in national and global economy, making decisions on lockdown won't be easy, according to the officials.

"Shanghai is a city that not only covers the Shanghai people themselves, but also plays an important role in the national economic and social development, and even has an impact on the global economy," said Wu Fan, a medical expert.

"For example, if Shanghai was faced with completely lockdown, there would be many international cargo ships floating in the East China Sea," said Wu.

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