The US State Department said on Monday that it had ordered all off-duty US consular staff and their families to leave Shanghai as part of a lockdown to prevent an increase in the number of cases. Omicron coronavirus case extends into second week.
“China’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19,” the travel adviser issued on Monday said, “seriously impacts travel and access to public services.”
The move come after the set, on Friday, Authorised those individuals left the area, adding that Americans should avoid traveling to China because of “arbitrary enforcement of local laws and restrictions related to Covid-19.”
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in China said: “The move from “authorized” to “ordered” means that we are now asking some employees to leave Shanghai, not voluntarily. willing to make this decision,” said the US Embassy and Consulate in China. declareadded that the staff and their families will be departing on commercial flights.
“Our change in posture reflects our assessment that it is best for our employees and their families to downsize and scale back our operations,” the agency said. .
Under the lockdown that began on April 1, residents of Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, have struggled to arrange food deliveries, some scream out their window requested to be provided with supplies. The agency said the U.S. Citizens Services Unit, or consular services office, of the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai has been closed since March 30.
On Sunday, China’s National Health Commission said Shanghai recorded about 26,100 new symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, accounting for more than 94% of the roughly 27,500 cases recorded by health authorities. across mainland China.
The State Department has also advised Americans do not travel to Hong Kong because of restrictions imposed by the city under the direction of China’s central government as the Chinese territory has struggled to contain the wave of cases there.
In both Shanghai and Hong Kong, some children have been separated from their parents to be quarantined or quarantined, the ministry said, although Shanghai authorities have begun allowing children with special needs to be quarantined, the ministry said. with family.
Alexandra Stevenson contribution report.