As Shenzhen prepares for the National Holiday, cases of COVID-19 have started spreading throughout the city once again.
The sudden increase in infected patients has led to rumors being circulated on WeChat that the city’s health authorities are contemplating a city-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus during National Week.
One local community in Nanshan district informed residents via WeChat that the city’s government is contemplating a three-day city-wide lockdown.
The message reads:
"We were just notified that ‘the leaders’ held a two-hour meeting to discuss whether or not to lockdown.
"The government’s economic minister did not agree; however, pandemic prevention and control staff feel that October is an extremely important month and we need to continue controlling the spread of the virus. Therefore, they strongly advised locking down the city for three days.
"Finally, the ‘main leader’ said that we should follow the advice given by the pandemic prevention and control team."
The WeChat message goes on to say that the city’s local government is formulating lockdown plans and there will be an official announcement on the afternoon of Friday, September 30 informing residents of a full city-wide lockdown for three days.
See the full WeChat message below (Chinese).
Screengrab via WeChat.
We must stress that as of press time these are only rumors. However, several Shenzhen residents have also told us that their building managers have been told to prepare for a three-day lockdown.
As of press time, there has been no official announcement that the lockdown, which many thought would begin on October 1, will be implemented, so it seems like we are safe for now.
The WeChat message refers to October being a very important month. Firstly, this is because of the National Holiday, where millions of people travel around the country, therefore increasing the risk of the spread of the virus.
Secondly, October 16 is the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Held every five years, the congress is used, among many other things, to announce leadership changes within the Chinese Communist Party.
On Wednesday, September 28, testing throughout the city carried out the day before revealed only three positive cases, two of which were already in isolation.
The following day, the number of infected people went up again; this time 15 people were found to have contracted the virus, two of whom were asymptomatic.
Twelve of said infections were already isolated (five at home and seven in quarantine facilities).
Today, Friday, September 30, figures reveal that there are 27 new infections in the city, 15 of which are symptomatic and 12 of which are asymptomatic.
Eighteen infected patients were already in quarantine facilities, four were isolating at home, another four were found in non-closed loop management of key personnel and the final case was found via community testing.
Thirteen of the 27 new infections were found in Luohu district, seven in Longgang district, three in Longhua district, two in Bao’an district and one in both Futian and Dapeng districts.
[Cover image via NIAID-RML]