A day after a city-wide Covid-19 restrictions were eased, millions of residents of China’s commercial hub, Shanghai went back indoors on Thursday under new lockdown measures after the discovery of fresh coronavirus cases.
Shanghai officials said seven of the metropolis’ 16 districts would carry out mass PCR testing for all residents “to prevent a renewed outbreak.”
The new measures come in midst of a worldwide spike in cases that scientists attribute to the resurgence of two sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, branched out of Omicron, the highly transmittable variant that first appeared in November.
The new measures in China are the latest indication that although the pandemic appeared to have stabilised over the past few months, recent surge indicates that coronavirus is far from over.
A new surge in cases in India has led experts to warn of a fourth wave. The country on Thursday reported a steep spike in cases, 7,240 new cases, more than double the average cases reported just days ago. The spike in cases prompted the government to restore stringent Covid-19 protocols measures at airports and in aircrafts.
In the UAE, the Ministry of Health and Prevention on Thursday reported 1,031 new cases, the highest since February 14. Similar surges in cases have been reported in many countries including the United States and Europe.
No scope for complacency
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently warned of complacency as cases declined in the past three months. People around the world have begun to shun the facemask and many failed to take the booster shots, a statement warned.
In the UAE, authorities have been careful in easing the Covid-19 precautionary measures, requiring the green pass and facemask to access government services.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention on Thursday urged the public again to “continue to cooperate with health authorities and abide by precautionary measures to ensure the safety and protection of the public.”
In recent months, it has become noticeable that people have lowered their guard as an increasing number have begun to venture unmasked in crowded malls and other public places despite visible signs that urge them to abide by those measures.
It is essential that the public, which won deserved praise for following strict Covid-19 protocols from the start of the outbreak, continue their adherence to the rules for their safety and the safety of the community.
The world has defeated the pandemic through a high level of vigilance. Let us not quit now.