China’s largest city and a global financial center is experiencing a record number of daily COVID-19 cases, driven by the Omicron BA.2 subvariant. Over the weekend, Shanghai entered an indefinite citywide lockdown, the latest example of the government’s efforts to adhere to its “zero COVID” strategy. All 26 million Shanghai residents were tested for SARS-CoV-2 in 24 hours, with many strictly confined to their homes and unable to leave even to obtain essentials. Some residents are reporting difficulties ordering food and water online due to restrictions and supply and delivery staff shortages. A policy to separate children who test positive from their families is drawing fierce criticism from city residents as well as Western diplomats. Isolation facilities are overflowing with patients, with some mixing symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, and people with non-COVID illnesses are being turned away by hospitals. The government has sent more than 2,000 military medical personnel and at least 30,000 healthcare providers to Shanghai to assist in the “dynamic clearing” of cases. China recorded about 16,400 new local COVID-19 cases on April 4—the highest daily total in 2 years—with more than 80% of those cases in Shanghai. Other provinces and cities, including Guangdong, Jilin, and Shandong, are recording medium or high risk of transmission and are required under official guidance to enter some form of lockdown. Nationwide, nearly 25 cities are under total or partial lockdown, impacting about 193 million people in areas accounting for nearly 14% of the country’s gross domestic product and causing widespread disruptions.
The US economy is not quite ready for the party to end. In reports released last week, US employers hired +431,000 workers in March 2022, dropping our nation’s jobless rate to just 3.6%, while the size of the US economy grew by +5.7% in 2021 to $24.0 trillion, an all-time record high.
CSSE is reporting 80,193,060 positive cases in the U.S. and 982,309 deaths.