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More than 25 million residents are stuck in their homes and are being shipped off to quarantine centres as the city faces a surge in Omicron BA.2 cases and the communist superpower continues to enforce its draconian Covid-zero policy.
But while the authoritarian crackdown is grim news for Chinese residents, the shutdown is also set to wreak havoc on Australian businesses and consumers.
Australia’s supply chain chaos is set to get far worse as China locks down the entire city of Shanghai, home to the nation’s largest sea port
Communist Party officials have called an indefinite lockdown in Shanghai (pictured)
A wave of Omicron BA.2 cases has swept through China causing a lockdown in Shanghai
‘There had been a marginal improvement over the past few months getting products shipped, as things eased from the worst of the Covid disruptions,’ Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox told Daily Mail Australia.
‘What the Shanghai lockdown will do is make it even harder for businesses to get parts and import components.’
The manufacturing, construction and service group’s chief executive boss said the lockdown in China’s second largest city will affect ‘everything from nuts and bolts to computer chips’.
‘Australia is still very reliant on China for a lot of goods and we are still seeing problems relating to ports, pallets, containers and trucks,’ Mr Willox said.
‘Further disruption will mean everything from high tech defence equipment right down to even the most basic items you might buy at your local grocery store could be impacted.’
Above: Workers in personal protective equipment work to load up a truck with food supplies and necessities for local residents during the Covid-19 lockdown. The biggest source of grumbling for most residents is the lack of essentials that they have to put up with
Residents were told to stay indoors during the lockdowns, and all business employees and government personnel not involved in the supply of essential services were advised to work from home. People pictured queuing to be tested at the Shanghai Jing’an Central Hospital
China has launched its biggest city-wide lockdown since Covid first hit over two years ago
After an initial 10-day shut down Covid cases continued to soar in Shanghai reaching more than 13,000 daily infections, according to official Chinese government data. The real figure is likely to be far higher.
Facing a nationwide surge in cases after lambasting the western world for adopting a ‘live with Covid’ strategy, Communist Party officials this week ordered the gruelling lockdown to continue in a futile attempt to bring the infection rate down.
As part of the draconian policy personally championed by Xi Jinping, infected children have been separated from their parents and drones have been deployed to keep cooped-up residents inside as authorities struggle to deliver enough food and supplies to those in quarantine.
In bizarre footage captured by a senior correspondent for the Economist, Alice Su, angry residents sing ‘why are you starving us?’ from their balconies in protest at the lack of food and water are told to ‘control the soul’s desire for freedom’ by a hovering drone.
It comes as Shanghai health officials have defended their policy of separating babies and young children from their parents if they test positive for Covid.
Families who have attempted to voice their frustration over the issue on Chinese social media have their complaints censored.
Video of babies and young children piled onto beds together in state-run wards have been widely shared before being taken down.
Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox said ‘further disruption will mean everything from high tech defence equipment right down to even the most basic items you might buy at your local grocery store could be impacted.’ Pictured: Cargo ship at Sydney’s Port Botany
‘What the Shanghai lockdown will do is make it even harder for businesses,’ Mr Willox said. Pictured: A waitress in Sydney
Wu Qianyu, an official from the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said brutal policy was integral to virus ‘prevention and control work’.
‘If the child is younger than seven years old, those children will receive treatment in a public health centre.’
‘For older children or teenagers… we are mainly isolating them in centralised (quarantine) places.’
Shanghai resident Esther Zhao said her daughter, two, was taken away to the quarantine centre after they both tested positive.
She initially refused but was threatened if she did not comply.
Zhao only received one brief piece of information from doctors about her daughter despite pleas from her and her husband.
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, people with mild and symptomatic cases of COVID-19 quarantine at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Shanghai, Friday, April 1, 2022
Several children piled into a metal-barred cot are wheeled through the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre as they are separated from their families after having contracted Covid
Under China’s unbending virus controls, anyone found positive – even if they are asymptomatic or have a mild infection – must be isolated from non-infected people. That includes children who test positive but whose family members do not, health officials confirmed on Monday, defending a policy which has spread anxiety and outrage across the city
Zhao told Reuters over the weekend: ‘There have been no photos at all… I’m so anxious, I have no idea what situation my daughter is in.
‘The doctor said Shanghai rules is that children must be sent to designated points, adults to quarantine centres and you’re not allowed to accompany the children.’
Former chief economist of Austrade, Tim Harcourt, said although the looming supply chain crunch is going to cause issues for global supply chains, Australia will be able to weather the storm.
‘There will be some impact but I don’t think it will be as bad for us as it will be catastrophic for the Chinese domestic economy,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Because of the lockdowns, they are not going to eat out as much and not travel as much, so their shutdown is going to affect their domestic economy a lot more than it is going to affect us.’
Source: Daily Mail