One of the world's biggest cities plunged into Covid lockdown

Shanghai has become the latest Chinese city to be plunged into lockdown as the country struggles to fend off a surging Omicron wave.

The mega city of roughly 26 million people reported a record 2631 new daily Covid-19 cases, triggering authorities to order residents to stay indoors.

The city will adopt a slightly different approach when imposing restrictions, ordering one half of the city east of the Huangpu River into lockdown until April 1, while the second half will then enter lockdown until April 5.

The tactic will allow for health authorities to test all the city's residents in an "orderly manner", the government said, with fears a full lockdown would be too disruptive to the major financial hub.

People pass food to residents over the barriers of an area under lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song
Shanghai will be split in two over the next nine days. Pictured is a barrier used earlier this month to impose a lockdown on a residential area in the city. Source: Reuters

Despite increasing Covid cases across the country, China's relentless Covid-zero strategy appears unwavering at this stage, however experts fear if the spread of the virus continues, it will be difficult to maintain.

In a similar draconian fashion to the nation's previous lockdowns, transport will be shut down while only approved vehicles will be allowed on the roads.

Last week amid growing cases in the city, authorities blocked off certain areas in a bid to halt the virus's spread.

Striking images show yellow barriers roughly two metres tall in an unbreakable ring around residential buildings.

It is unclear if they will be used en masse to separate the two divided areas of the city for lockdown.

A delivery worker passes food to a man over the barriers of an area under lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China March 23, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song
China is battling its biggest Covid wave since the virus first emerged in late 2019. Source: Reuters

Growing discontent over restrictions

One Shanghai resident told Yahoo there is a sense of fatigue growing over reintroduced Covid restrictions, particularly when seeing the freedom other nations' residents are experiencing. He said the close living arrangements of many Shanghai apartments made lockdown harder.

It is a sentiment growing across the country as a committed Beijing jumps on any emerging cluster in a bid to swiftly eliminate it.

Earlier this month unverified video emerged of pandemic workers fighting with residents in what is believed to have been frustration over restrictions boiling over.

In recent weeks, the cities of Shenzhen and Changchun are among those that have been forced into lockdown.

Hong Kong, bordering Shenzhen to its south, has also endured a deadly wave of Omicron which has triggered a wave of anger over the government's handling of the outbreak.

China President Xi Jinping has pleaded with residents to stay the course of their pandemic plan, with the government stressing "persistence is victory".

However top Chinese scientist Zeng Guang earlier suggested China must open up at some point and would need to eventually live with the virus.

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