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Shanghai: Where Zero COVID Came To Die
Record Deaths Means Zero COVID Has Had Zero Success
Despite the recent and extremely marginal easing of the lockdown protocols for portions of Shanghai, cases and deaths continue to mount, even more than a month into the lockdown.
The city recorded 39 fatalities for Saturday, bringing its total number of virus-related deaths to 87 since late February, according to a report on Sunday by the Shanghai Health Commission. The average age of the people who died was 78.7 and all had underlying diseases, according to the report.
COVID-19 is killing chiefly the very old and the very ill in Shanghai, yet the Zero COVID protocols include locking down and isolating the very young and the very healthy—with consequences that go far beyond the deaths Zero COVID has failed to prevent.
To put the economic impact of the lockdown into perspective, data gathered by Goldman Sachs indicates that subway ridership in Shanghai has been at zero for over a month.
The city is quite literally at a standstill, even after the marginal easing last week.
Remember, the eastern part of the city has been locked down for even longer, for more than a month.
Pandemic Paranoia Is No Substitute For Effective Policy
Despite the obvious and apparent lack of success, Beijing remains inflexibly committed to the Zero COVID strategy. That the policy fails to produce results is immaterial to the CCP oligarchy.
This is despite being compelled to ease the lockdown ever so slightly or risk complete economic chaos.
Rather, the city's leaders are doubling down on Zero COVID.
Shanghai's municipal government said it would adopt a nine-point plan starting Friday to achieve its goal of "no community spread", a milestone that’s eluded the city despite weeks of lockdown. The announcement damped hopes that the restrictions would gradually ease in the coming weeks.
With the city's population already growing restive, how much more can Beijing clamp down on the city before protests and small scale riots flare up into open rebellion?
Can Xi Jinping and the CCP retain the “Mandate of Heaven” after this?