Shanghai Denies Rumors of Impending Lockdown as Cases Soar

Authorities in Shanghai have refuted rumors of a city-wide lockdown after a sixth consecutive increase in daily asymptomatic coronavirus infections raised the figure to record levels.

Despite a program of mass testing aimed at slowing the spread, the number of new local COVID-19 infections in Shanghai approached 1,000 per day, but officials pledged to use a “slicing and gridding” technique to screen districts one by one rather than shutting down completely.

Shanghai recorded 977 domestically transmitted asymptomatic infections on Tuesday, up from 865 the day before, according to data from China’s National Health Commission.

Several streets and residential compounds had been unsealed after testing, according to city health official Wu Jinglei, although certain sites will be tested again on Wednesday and Thursday as the focus of the city’s operations is narrowed.

The rumors of a lockdown sparked panic buying late Tuesday night, with delivery slots on Alibaba’s “Freshhippo” app running out a minute after midnight.

On its Weibo microblog site, the city’s local government urged, “Please do not believe and spread rumors.”

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