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Shanghai reports first Covid deaths since start of lockdown | World News

Suspicions about possible Covid-related deaths had been growing, particularly among the elderly, before the announcement.

Shanghai reported the first deaths from its growing Covid-19 outbreak, the largest outbreak China has had to deal with during the pandemic.

Three people died on Sunday, according to the Shanghai municipal government. They were between 89 and 91 years old and all had underlying medical conditions.

The newly reported deaths are the first since two people died in mid-March in the northeastern province of Jilin. They were the first Covid deaths in more than a year in China, where a strict zero-tolerance approach contained the virus until the most infectious delta and omicron variants emerged last year.

Suspicions about possible Covid-related deaths had been growing, particularly among the elderly, before the announcement. According to the Wall Street Journal, Caixin and other local media, two elderly care facilities in Shanghai have been battling outbreaks caused by the omicron variant and deaths have occurred. No deaths have been officially reported so far.

The lockdown and repeated testing of Shanghai’s 25 million residents have yet to stop infections, with more than 22,000 cases reported on Sunday.

Shanghai is the epicenter of China’s worst Covid outbreak since Wuhan more than two years ago. But most people infected with the virus have few or no symptoms, according to the government, and the reported number of seriously ill patients remains negligible.

The omicron variant has surged through the population, infecting everyone from a newborn who was just 10 days old to someone approaching 100, according to the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

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