Shanghai Disney Resort visitors told to stay at home after single COVID case prompts lockdown of theme park | World News


Stay-at-home orders and mandatory testing notices have been issued to several Shanghai residents as authorities race to trace contacts linked to a
COVID-positive woman whose visit to the city’s Disney resort prompted its temporary lockdown.

The Shanghai Disney Resort on Monday became the latest major venue to shut its gates due to China’s strict zero-COVID policy, locking in all visitors and only allowing them to leave, hours later, after they had tested negative for the virus.

Several families said on Tuesday they had been told by officials they must stay at home if they had visited the attraction since Thursday – and to take COVID-19 tests for the next three days.

One resident of the city told Reuters news agency she was informed her family might have to go into central quarantine.

Authorities said the Disney resort was shut after a 31-year-old woman, who had visited the park among other places in recent days, tested positive for the virus.

The Shanghai Disney Resort was temporarily placed in lockdown after a woman who had visited the park tested positive for COVID
The Shanghai Disney Resort was temporarily shut after a woman who had visited the park tested positive for COVID
Crowds inside the Shanghai Disney Resort during Monday's temporary lockdown

The latest crackdown comes as China‘s coronavirus infections hit 2,719-a-day.

The country’s COVID-19 case load has remained small by global standards, and some believe the strict pandemic restrictions are holding back the economy and are increasingly out of sync with the rest of the world.

The rigid zero-COVID policy has seen millions of residents confined to their homes, subject to mass testing programmes and enduring sudden lockdowns – in areas where positive coronavirus cases or their close contacts have been detected.

In August, authorities tried to stop shoppers from leaving an Ikea store in the Xuhui district of Shanghai after a customer was found to have been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID.

The city is no stranger to the tough coronavirus stance – it endured a two-month lockdown earlier this year.

Analysis: Public patience with zero-COVID policy is wearing thin in China

As COVID cases in China rise so does the sense of anxiety and paranoia.

In a place where zero-COVID is the aim, every time ordinary people head to a shop or restaurant, they are running a type of gauntlet. At any moment a positive case could be linked to a venue, and it could be suddenly and swiftly locked down trapping those inside.

COVID cases in China are still tiny proportionally, roughly 2,800 a day in a population of 1.4 billion. But that is double the numbers being seen last week and roughly the same as they were ahead of larger outbreaks and severe lockdowns in Shanghai and elsewhere earlier this year.

The authorities are under immense pressure for that not to be repeated and it partly explains the heavy-handed response in places like Shanghai Disney Resort.

In China right now all variety of other priorities such as livelihoods and mental health must take their place behind pandemic control.

And while people are largely accepting of the more minor constraints on their lives, anger flares when they become more significant.

There is a sense patience is wearing thin.

Meanwhile, in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn announced a big increase in bonuses to stem an exodus of workers frustrated by coronavirus curbs.

Videos appearing to show workers leaving the plant with luggage have reportedly gone viral on Chinese social media.

The move by Foxconn came as authorities unexpectedly lifted partial restrictions on Zhengzhou’s nearly 13 million people, even as new locally transmitted cases more than doubled on Monday from the day before.

“For over 10 days, we have persevered and fought together, fighting the disease, advancing and retreating together, and working hard together, and finally we are ushering in a large-scale restoration of normal life and production in Zhengzhou,” the city’s counter-epidemic task force wrote in an online letter to residents.


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