Military Doctors Sent to Test 26 Million Residents of the Financial Hub

Story Highlights
  • China embarks on largest public health response since it first tackled the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 2,000 military doctors from People's Liberation Army engaged in Shanghai.
  • China on Monday reported 1,336 new locally transmitted infections.

Beijing: China on Monday morning saw thousands of military and healthcare workers in Shanghai to help expedite COVID-19 tests for all 26 million residents under lockdown. Around 2,000 medical professionals in Hazmat suits were escorted toward Shanghai local media reported. Multiple provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Beijing have sent healthcare workers to Shanghai, according to media reports, with some estimates putting the total number at more than 10,000.

As per the National Health Commission on Monday, Mainland China recorded 1,336 new locally transmitted infections in a single day.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, a new iteration of the novel virus was isolated from a mildly infected patient less than 70 km from Shanghai. The variant is said to evolve from the BA.1.1 branch of the Omicron variant. Cases in the financial hub exceeded 8,000 on Saturday including 7,788 asymptomatic infections.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the same day dispatched more than 2,000 medical personnel recruited from across the army, navy and joint logistics support forces to Shanghai, an armed forces newspaper reported.

In its largest outbreak, China imposed a two-stage lockdown in Shanghai to confine practically all residents to their homes as asymptomatic cases spiralled. Residents have staged resistance complaining of crowded and unsanitary central quarantine centres, as well as difficulties in securing food supplies and essential medical help. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the country to curb the momentum of the outbreak as soon as possible while sticking to the “dynamic-clearance” policy.

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