Extraordinary images show mass marine congestion off the east coast of Shanghai and around its port, amid the city’s harsh COVID lockdown and fears of its financial impact.
The industrial city, which is one of the world’s busiest ports, is under a harsh lockdown with millions of people banned from leaving their homes and relying on the government to deliver food.
Images taken from the MarineTraffic website, which tracks the live positions of a range of vessels in international waters, show huge queues around the Port of Shanghai with thousands of ships and vessels trying to manoeuvre.
The green dots pictured above are cargo vessels in transit, whilst the red dots represent tankers.
The clusters around the port and off the coast of the city, which is home to China’s financial hub, show concentrated groups of vessels, versus shipping routes at the same time pictured further north of the country.
Experts have raised concerns about the impact of the Shanghai lockdown on global supply chains, particularly regarding delays and increased costs.
The Port of Shanghai continues to operate normally under a ‘closed loop’ system where it is sealed off from the city, but there have been difficulties with trucks entering and exiting, leading to delays.
A senior Chinese official said the Shanghai port is making “all-out” efforts to ensure stable and smooth operation in order to stave off the impact brought by COVID’s resurgence.
Wu Chungeng, director of the Highway Bureau under the Ministry of Transport, made the remarks at a press conference in response to concerns that quarantine measures may disrupt goods delivery and logistics.
Under the measures, everyone who tests positive for the virus – even if they have no symptoms – has to be quarantined in centralised facilities where many people have complained about poor conditions.
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China’s President Xi Jinping said there should be no let-up in virus control and prevention efforts while China would strive to minimise the policy’s impact on economic and social development.
In Shanghai, seven people infected with the virus have died, the first new deaths during the city’s current outbreak.
Shanghai, China’s financial hub, confirmed 19,831 new daily asymptomatic COVID infections yesterday, down from 21,592 on Saturday.
New symptomatic infections stood at 2,417, down from 3,238 on Sunday.
Restrictions have also been tightened in other cities including Xian, in northwestern China and Suzhou, a city near Shanghai, with unnecessary travel discouraged due to case numbers.