University of Bath: New modelling shows ‘shielding’ instead of lockdowns would have led to tens of thousands more deaths

University of Bath: New modelling shows ‘shielding’ instead of lockdowns would have led to tens of thousands more deaths . “Shielding strategies or ‘focused protection’, as advocated for in the Great Barrington Declaration, would have been impossible to implement in practice and would have likely led to far worse outcomes. Even if implemented perfectly, the modelling reveals that allowing the infection to spread through less vulnerable groups prior to vaccination would have overwhelmed health care capacity in the UK and led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. In reality, practical considerations would have meant that large numbers of vulnerable people who were supposed to be protected would also have died.”

New York Times: China’s Covid Lockdown Outrage Tests Limits of Triumphant Propaganda

New York Times: China’s Covid Lockdown Outrage Tests Limits of Triumphant Propaganda. “Anger and anxiety over the Shanghai lockdown, now in its fourth week, has posed a rare challenge for China’s powerful propaganda apparatus, which is central to the Communist Party’s ability to stifle dissent. As the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country, officials have defended their use of widespread, heavy-handed lockdowns. They have pushed a triumphalist narrative of their Covid response, which says that only the Chinese government had the will to confront, and hold back, the virus. But among a populace with growing evidence of the costs of that approach, an alternate story — of rage, frustration and despair — is finding an audience.”

Ars Technica: Shanghai’s plan to reboot the supply chain will hit workers the hardest

Ars Technica: Shanghai’s plan to reboot the supply chain will hit workers the hardest. “…the central government in Beijing has made it a priority to restart Shanghai’s industrial sector. Liu He, the Chinese vice premier, announced this week that the government would aim to stabilize the country’s supply chain by helping 666 companies in COVID-ravaged Shanghai reboot their operations. Doing that while the city continues to battle China’s worst COVID outbreak since the pandemic began may prove an enormous challenge—and may not succeed in curbing the disruption that the global supply chain could feel for weeks or months to come.”

New York Times: Shanghai’s food crisis prompts residents in Beijing to stockpile supplies.

New York Times: Shanghai’s food crisis prompts residents in Beijing to stockpile supplies.. “Some Beijing residents have started stockpiling food in their homes in case the city imposes a lockdown, after seeing reports of food shortages and even street fights over food during a lockdown in Shanghai. Liu Chang, a 29-year-old Beijing resident who lives with his girlfriend, has stocked enough food to last three months. He is worried about possible shortages as well as price gouging in the coming months.”

ABC News (Australia): Social media videos show ‘riots’ over food as Chinese city Shanghai enters third week of strict lockdown

ABC News (Australia): Social media videos show ‘riots’ over food as Chinese city Shanghai enters third week of strict lockdown. “Small ‘riots’ have broken out in Shanghai as residents who have been confined in their homes for two weeks show their frustration at China’s strict ‘COVID-zero’ policy. The city has been under lockdown since March 28 and, with supermarkets shut and deliveries restricted, there have been increasing reports of residents unable to access bare necessities.”

The Mainichi: Japanese people living in Shanghai stressed over COVID-19 lockdown

The Mainichi: Japanese people living in Shanghai stressed over COVID-19 lockdown. “People affiliated with Japan’s Gunma Prefecture who reside in Shanghai have been facing difficulties amid the Chinese city’s COVID-19 lockdown. Toru Dobashi, director of the Gunma Shanghai Office, told the Mainichi Shimbun that he has been subjected to continuous restrictions from April 1, and has been unable to go out even though he has received no rations of food and other daily necessities.”

The Great Upgrade: Website technologies in the pandemic (Vox EU)

Vox EU: The Great Upgrade: Website technologies in the pandemic. “Digital technologies have played a crucial role in helping firms weather the worst of the COVID shock. This column uses a dataset containing information on 150 million active websites around the world to measure the impact of COVID-19 on technology adoption. The authors find that the timing of lockdowns strongly predicts increased use of e-commerce and online payment technologies. The shock appears to have resulted more in a trend shift than a shift in levels, suggesting that COVID-19 may have transformed the trajectory of online market growth.”

New York Times: Lockdowns in China Block Truck Shipments and Close Factories

New York TImes: Lockdowns in China Block Truck Shipments and Close Factories. “China’s mounting Covid-19 restrictions are creating further disruptions to global supply chains for consumer electronics, car parts and other goods. A growing number of Chinese cities are requiring truck drivers to take daily Covid P.C.R. tests before allowing them to cross municipal borders or are quarantining drivers deemed to be at risk of infection. The measures have limited how quickly drivers can move components among factories and goods from plants to ports.”

CNN: Shanghai to lock down each half of city for mass Covid-19 testing

CNN: Shanghai to lock down each half of city for mass Covid-19 testing. “Shanghai has said it will lock down each half of the city by turns for mass Covid-19 testing starting Monday amid surging infections. The eastern half of the city — comprising around 11 million residents — will go into lockdown at the start of the week for four days, while the 14 million remaining people will start lockdown from Friday, the Shanghai government said on Sunday night.”

China: How is its zero-Covid strategy changing? (BBC)

BBC: China: How is its zero-Covid strategy changing?. “The latest jump in daily cases, widely spread across the country, has been driven largely by the Omicron variant. Millions of people in China, including the entire north-eastern province of Jilin, and the tech-hub city Shenzhen in the south, have been ordered into lockdown. Other cities, such as Shanghai, have also tightened restrictions by enforcing strict controls on movements.”

China lockdowns: The economic cost of a zero-Covid policy (BBC)

BBC: China lockdowns: The economic cost of a zero-Covid policy. “If you’re buying something online there’s a very good chance it was made in Shenzhen – a city of 17.5 million in the south east where roughly half of all China’s online retail exporters are based. So, when Shenzhen went into a six-day lockdown on Sunday after a massive surge in Covid cases, it sent shockwaves through the world’s businesses.”

BBC: KFC-owner Yum sales plunge as China Covid cases surge

BBC: KFC-owner Yum sales plunge as China Covid cases surge. “The owner of KFC and Pizza Hut said sales plunged by 20% in the first two weeks of March as a surge of new Covid cases spread across China. Yum China said ‘the situation has rapidly deteriorated’ as regional lockdowns have been put in place to stem the outbreak. More than 1,100 of its stores are temporarily closed or offering takeaway and sales are ‘still trending down’.”

New York Times: Covid restrictions prevented dengue in hundreds of thousands of people in 2020.

New York Times: Covid restrictions prevented dengue in hundreds of thousands of people in 2020.. “Public health measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 had an unintended consequence across Latin America and Southeast Asia in 2020: Dengue virus infections were prevented in hundreds of thousands of people, according to a study published in The Lancet this month. The research offers clues for new strategies to combat a dangerous tropical disease that had been infecting more people each year.”