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COVID digest: Shanghai enters second lockdown phase

April 1, 2022

China's largest city is testing more than half of its population as it attempts to curb an outbreak of the coronavirus. After more than two years, Italy has ended its state of emergency. Follow DW for the latest.

People line up at a hospital for testing following a coronavirus outbreak in Shanghai, China
People have been waiting more than 90 minutes to take a COVID test in ShanghaiImage: Xihao Jiang/REUTERS

Some 16 million residents in Shanghai are being tested for COVID-19 during the second stage of the financial hub's lockdown that shifted Friday to the western half of the city.

Meanwhile, Shanghai's eastern districts are also on an extended alert. Citizens who were supposed to be released from four days of isolation have been told their lockdowns could be lengthened if cases are found in the area where they reside.

The lockdown in China's biggest city is being done in two phases over an eight-day period to facilitate testing its entire population of 26 million.

For four days starting Friday, residents of Puxi on the west side of the Huangpu River that divides Shanghai are forbidden from leaving their neighborhoods. The gates at some compounds were locked, with food delivered to collection points.

Government workers and volunteers wearing full protective equipment have been going door-to-door with megaphones, calling on residents to report for testing at designated sites.

Public transport has been suspended and roads closed.

The restrictions have already had economic repercussions, with global markets reacting nervously to the development.

Markets short on goods after lockdown

More than half of US multinational firms in China have reduced their annual revenue forecasts, mostly due to the recent outbreak in Shanghai, according to a joint survey by the American Chambers of Commerce in Shanghai and Beijing.

Lockdown: 'People are really worried in Shanghai'

Here are the latest major developments on coronavirus from around the world:


Italy on Friday began to phase out its restrictive measures, ending a state of emergency authorities declared more than two years ago when the peninsular became overwhelmed with cases at the end of January 2020.

"A new phase is beginning. This does not mean that the pandemic is over. There is no 'off' button that magically makes the virus disappear," Health Minister Roberto Speranza told the newspaper La Repubblica.

Measuring COVID infection levels from sewage


Singapore fully reopened its borders to all vaccinated visitors Friday after two years of travel restrictions.

The aviation hub, a key gateway for people arriving in Asia, joins other countries in the region that have recently dropped travel restrictions. 

Previously, only visitors from a handful of places could enter Singapore without quarantining. From Friday, all vaccinated arrivals need only a negative test.

Malaysia has fully reopened its borders, dropping quarantine requirements for vaccinated citizens.

The Southeast Asian nation has had some of the tightest entry rules in the region, with most foreign nationals barred from coming in and returning Malaysians subjected to a period of isolation.

A flight carrying 140 passengers from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur was greeted with a water salute after touching down on Friday.

Bali is entering its "endemic phase," the Indonesian resort island's governor said Friday.

I Wayan Koster admitted it was not up to his administration to declare that Bali had entered the endemic phase, although he made the announcement after 95% of the island's population had received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 50% of these having also received a booster.

Can intranasal vaccinations work?

The Health Ministry in South Korea announced on Friday that it will further relax social distancing rules.

Beginning April 4, a curfew on eateries and other businesses will be pushed back an hour, to midnight, and private gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said.

Creating nasal sprays to protect against COVID

jsi/rt (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)