Amid simmering discontent within masses subjected to a harsh lockdown, Shanghai – the financial capital of China – reported 12 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, 22 April, reported news agency Reuters.
In what is being seen as the country's worst outbreak of COVID-19, Shanghai saw its load of new local asymptomatic infections rise from 15,698 to 20,634 in a matter of 24 hours.
The number of new symptomatic cases, too, have risen from 1,931 on 21 April to 2,736.
However, the Shanghai government has said that the average age of patients who died was 88, while adding that all of them were unvaccinated and had underlying health conditions.
Jaya Dantas, a public health expert at the Curtin School of Population Health in Australia, who has been observing the Shanghai outbreak told Reuters that the government must "increase rates of the booster vaccination dose to the elderly and other vulnerable groups" in order to save the situation from becoming worse.
Dantas also added that the Chinese government should consider introducing mRNA vaccines. So far, China has neither introduced its own mRNA vaccines, nor decided to import it from overseas developers.
Meanwhile, locals officials in Shanghai said that there will be no relaxation in lockdown measures until new cases outside of quarantine areas have cleared.
According to Reuters, the number of new cases outside quarantine areas fell from 250 on 21 April to 218 on 22 April.
While a complete lockdown in Shanghai began in early April, some compounds have been under the lock for a much longer period.
Additionally, the continued reportage of positive cases from compounds locked for over 30 days has put a big question on the effectiveness of China's harsh containment approach.