Shanghai city reopening expectations were dampened by the continued COVID-19 cases breaking out in the community Wednesday.
Shanghai reported a total of 1,449 new infections for Wednesday, down slightly from 1,487 on Tuesday.
While the daily total has steadily fallen, two cases were found in the community Wednesday, CCTV reported.
On Wednesday, Shanghai suspended service on the last two subway lines that were still operating Tuesday, marking the first time the city’s entire system has been shut down, according to The Paper.
Shanghai officials are expected to further restrict access to food and hospitals in some parts of the city, the most severe phase of its extended lockdown yet.
Shanghai is now in its seventh week of city-wide restrictions.
China’s zero-covid policy continues to face criticism, with senior Chinese health officials having said in their defense thaqt the lockdown would “buy time to vaccinate more people”.
The objective of China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” policy aims to maximize the protection of people’s safety and health, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.
“The policy is not to pursue zero infection, but to contain the pandemic in the shortest possible time at the lowest social cost, so as to safeguard people’s lives and health as well as retain the normal order of life to the maximum extent,” he said.
Their comments come after the head of the World Health Organisation called China’s zero-covid strategy unsustainable.
The market tone is somewhat mixed, with the Asian equities tracking Wall Street after the US inflation beat. Although the S&P 500 futures are up 0.45% on the day, suggesting a minor shift in the market’s risk perception.