China battles coronavirus surge in Shanghai, forcing Disney park to close

Disneyland in Shanghai closed Monday as the populous Chinese city faced a flareup of the coronavirus as part of a broader surge that is taxing the central communist government’s zero-COVID policy.

The coastal city reported 24 known cases with confirmed symptoms on Monday and another 734 asymptomatic infections — a batch that a local official attributed to mass testing but forced the Disney park to close until further notice, according to the South China Morning Post.

The newspaper said Liang Wanniian, a key expert on the panel leading China’s pandemic response, defended Beijing’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus while acknowledging challenges.

“Ideally, we would achieve zero COVID-19 patients in society but the specificity of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 means we can’t achieve that for the moment,” Mr. Liang said on state television. “The dynamic zero-COVID approach means we need to swiftly identify the outbreaks and cut the transmission chain to go towards the direction of zero COVID, or the transmission will be continuous and connected, causing a large-scale rebounding of cases.”

China frequently deploys mass testing to try and rein in local outbreaks but the omicron surge is stressing its cities and other parts of Asia after it devastated the US and other parts of the West. Experts say China suffers from a lack of natural immunity and that its domestic vaccines are not as effective as messenger-RNA ones used elsewhere.

Wire services reported China recorded 2,027 new cases on the mainland Sunday, up from the 1,737 the previous day.

Many of the infections were in the northeast Jilin province, which has been subject to mass testing and lockdowns.

Shenzhen, a manufacturing hub near Hong Kong, reopened for business Monday after a weeklong shutdown that was designed to curb the spread but raised fears of additional supply-chain disruptions.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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