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- Things start to fall apart - VG

– Things start to fall apart – VG

Lockdown: Police officers in infection control gear stand in a neighborhood that has been locked down in Shanghai on April 15.

While Shanghai is in its third week of lockdown, residents are becoming increasingly dissatisfied and hungry. Experts believe the authorities should change strategy – but they say that could be difficult.


More than two years after the coronavirus was first detected in China, infections have spiked in several places in the country. The $1 million city of Shanghai is affected by infection control measures by:

If you walk out the door, you risk getting arrested. In the city’s financial districtMany employees do not sleep in the office To keep the wheels moving.

“No one is allowed to leave their homes, not even to buy food,” CNN journalist David Colfer wrote of the situation.

The city has been on lockdown since March 28, and is in its third week of isolation. Local authorities are responsible for feeding the city’s citizens – but supplies are not enough. The videos are circulating on social media The wailing cries of the hungry population.

Cleansing. Epidemic control personnel in infection control equipment disinfect a neighborhood in Shanghai on April 15.

South China Morning Newspaper He writes of hungry residents looting groceries, while drones fly over the clouds and tell them to “control the soul’s desire for freedom.”

Everyone infected in Shanghai must self-isolate in their own quarantine centres. But with more than 20,000 new cases of infection every day, authorities are struggling to find enough space for everyone.

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At the same time, infection control measures do not appear to have the desired effect. However, the authorities do not change the strategy. On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping said, “Prevention and control work cannot be relaxed.”

With no reopening in sight, residents’ minds are growing higher than ever, the South Morning China Post writes.

Infection prevention: Health workers stand in infection control equipment outside a closed building in Shanghai on April 15.

Things are starting to fall apart

Now things are on the verge of collapse for the regime and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the country’s state-supporting party, says Torbjørn Færøvik, author and expert on China.

– They are very worried that everything should be fine, but now things are beginning to fall apart, at least in the big cities. The question the party must now ask itself is whether they should change strategy as they have done in many Western countries and pay the price that comes with it, or whether they should have zero tolerance, Verovic says.

According to some estimates, about 400 million Chinese have been affected by some degree of lockdown. The expert believes that the growing discontent in Shanghai – and elsewhere in the country – comes at a bad time for the Chinese Communist Party.

“It will also have consequences for the economy and party leadership, which is now preparing for its 20th Party Congress this fall, where Xi Jinping will once again be crowned as a sort of emperor and begin a third term,” he adds.

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– It’s too annoying for the party and for something at least, who tries to seem infallible.

Booths: Health workers work at the temporary hospital set up at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai on April 8.

resentment increase

Many media, including BBC He filmed videos showing clashes between police and civilians in Shanghai. Færøyvik says street riots and riots indicate an implicit discontent among the population, which can create political problems for the regime.

Food Delivery: Food will be distributed to Shanghai residents on April 15.

Shanghai food couriers are working hard to deliver food to the imprisoned residents. But it is not equipped to serve 26 million people.

– They don’t have the ability. There are empty refrigerators and freezers and food stalls, and there are young children, the elderly and sick people who do not have access to food and medicine, says the expert.

When hunger begins to bite in the stomach and intestines, it is not fun anymore. From there, it can be a short road to riots and riots.

Healing again: Some of the first patients who recovered after succumbing to covid-19 left the temporary hospital at the Shanghai Convention and Exhibition Center on April 9.

The path must be changed

If the CCP continues to maintain its current policy, Færøyvik believes the situation will go from bad to worse.

– I think that sooner or later the party will have to change course in its policy on Corona. If they do not, he adds, there will be deep divisions among the Chinese.

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But when the party invested a lot of prestige in its original strategy, changing it can be painful, the Chinese expert tests.

But what is happening now can also crack within the party, because there may be different opinions about the way they ought to behave.

With the absence of polls and free elections, Verovic explains, there is also nagging uncertainty about where the Chinese Communist Party actually has its people.

– But I think the Communist Party will deal with this in the long run and move away from it. But at some point now, they could face very big challenges whether they are of a health, economic or political nature

Hospital: A health worker carries equipment outside a makeshift hospital in Shanghai on April 15.

Three things to worry about

Despite record high infection rates in Norway, the Norwegian government did not take drastic new measures to control the infection this spring. Preben Aavitsland of FHI told VG that it may seem as though Chinese authorities are putting infection control as their main goal — not disease control.

They do not seem to be confident that vaccination protects against serious diseases. He says they have a very strong curfew, which most professionals and politicians here at home have rejected.

If the overly strict measures continue in Shanghai, Aavitsland is particularly concerned about three things: adequate supplies of food and drinking water, care of the sick with a view to deterioration and the provision of needed medicines – and the mental health of the entire population.

– but especially those who have had a mental illness before, for example people with anxiety disorders or depression.

Clean: Health workers wash and disinfect the floor of a temporary hospital at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai on April 14.