Shanghai vows to punish Covid lockdown offenders as cases hit 25,000

China's main financial city under huge pressure to contain latest coronavirus outbreak

Officials in China's commercial capital of Shanghai on Wednesday warned anyone who breaks Covid-19 lockdown rules that they will be dealt with strictly.

Shanghai authorities asked citizens to defend their city as its tally of new cases rose to more than 25,000.

The city's police department spelt out the restrictions that most of the 25 million residents are facing and called on them to "fight the epidemic with one heart ... and work together for an early victory".

"Those who violate the provisions of this notice will be dealt with in strict accordance with the law by public security organs ... if it constitutes a crime, they will be investigated according to law," police said.

The financial centre is under huge pressure to contain China's biggest Covid-19 outbreak since the coronavirus was discovered in the city of Wuhan, 800 kilometres to the west, in late 2019.

Police have banned cars from Shanghai's roads except for those involved in epidemic prevention work or transporting people in need of emergency medical treatment.

They advised increasingly frustrated residents, millions of whom are confined to their homes and struggling to buy daily supplies, not to spread false information or forge road passes or other clearance certificates.

Shanghai reported 25,141 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Tuesday, up from 22,348 a day earlier, and symptomatic cases also rose to 1,189 from 994, city authorities said.

Shanghai's Covid-19 measures, which reflect China's strict "zero-Covid" approach aimed at eliminating transmission chains, have reverberated through the global economy and analysts say they were not only hurting tourism and hospitality but also having an adverse effect on supply chains across sectors.

"The widespread lockdown and tighter zero-Covid restrictions in several cities around Shanghai have caused significant supply disruptions with transport and logistics under severe pressure," Barclays Bank economist Jian Chang said in a note.

At least 11 Taiwanese companies, mostly making parts for electronics, on Wednesday said they were suspending production because of the disruption caused by China's Covid controls.

The Caixin media group reported that Shanghai was one of eight cities involved in a pilot scheme launched to lower centralised quarantine requirements from 14 days to 10, citing a government plan set out in a document that has not been formally published.

Relevant authorities were not immediately available for comment on the report.

Updated: April 13, 2022, 8:42 AM