Shanghai sees a spike in critical COVID cases as outbreak settles

Shanghai sees a spike in critical COVID cases as outbreak settles
A worker in protective suit rests on a street during a lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China, April 17, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

After weeks of lockdown, Shanghai’s battle with COVID seems far from over, with the city recording triple the number of severe cases from the previous day. On the one hand, daily infection rates have fallen consecutively. But, critical conditions and deaths have increased, many of which involve unvaccinated elderly patients. A lack of natural immunity also means that the unvaccinated are especially vulnerable.

Among the nearly 18,500 new cases reported Wednesday in Shanghai, most are asymptomatic, which acts as a challenge for tracing the virus going forward, especially with the country’s zero-COVID policy.

Key comments:

Pointing to how mainland China typically counts only those who die directly from COVID-related pneumonia, Zhengming Chen, a professor of epidemiology at Oxford, said: “If you apply international criteria, the number of deaths would be somewhat high.”

“Why can’t we consider a middle road” between zero-COVID and living with the virus, wrote Dr. Miao Xiahui, a prominent Shanghai physician. The blog post was censored, according to The New York Times.