Tuesday , 24 May 2022

Email From China: COVID-19 Situation In Shanghai Could Be Catastrophic!

This dispatch from the front lines is an email the editor of munKNEE.com from his Canadian business partner working out of their office/plant in China. His first words were “The next few weeks in China should be interesting: if a break-out occurs in mainland China the effect could be catastrophic!” going on to say in edited words and format:

“Hi Lorimer,

Here’s the current news from China.

The COVID-19 numbers here continue to go up

China is treading a thin line between controlling infections and a break-out. If the latter happens the proverbial…will hit the fan here.

  • Right now they are reporting 2000 to 2500 new cases a day in mainland China, but the challenge is that, while the majority are coming out of Jilin Province, the balance are widely distributed across the country.
    • Shenzhen was in total lockdown last week, but is re-opening this week.
    • The entire province of Jilin is in lockdown.
    • Just this week 2 more cities in the north, Shenyang and Tangshan in Liaoning and Hebei provinces respectively, were placed in lockdown.
    • There is a rumor circulating that Shanghai is next.
      • That has been officially denied, however, I have spoken to a friend in Shanghai and a large percentage of the residential compounds in Shanghai have been placed in lockdown.
      • Public transit is still running but some subway stations have been closed.
      • They literally locked the doors of my friend’s apartment building. I hope they don’t have a fire!
      • They effectively have the city on lockdown without having to admit to it.
      • People are sleeping at their offices so they don’t get locked out of them.

Hong Kong has one of the highest death rates in the world

There have seen upwards of 30,000 new cases a day in Hong Kong with one of the highest death rates in the world.

  • The hospital system there has been overwhelmed due to a high rate of severe infections as a result of low efficacy vaccines.
  • While their overall vaccination numbers look pretty good, it turns out that only 50% of people over the age of 80 are vaccinated so they are dropping like flies.

A break-out in mainland China could be catastrophic

Assuming Hong Kong is a proxy for mainland China, a break-out here could be catastrophic.

  • They are doing a fourth round of testing of all citizens where our factory is. They shut down all buses and taxis last week.
  • To enter or leave any city in China you need to have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure or arrival. They check those at bus and train stations, as well as at highway entrances to cities. I guess you could sneak through using side roads but then the track and trace APP would flag you.
  • Yesterday evening there was a mass testing event at my apartment compound, which was repeated at the office this morning. Apparently a resident in my apartment complex met with someone who was suspected of having been in contact with an infected person from Shanghai and then this morning 2 people in our office building had yellow health codes so that triggered another mass testing event.

China has adopted an effective mobile phone based track and trace system

Early in the pandemic China adopted a mobile phone based track and trace system which quite effective if you ignore the “big brother” warning bells:

  • It tracks your movements and if you enter a medium risk area or a high risk area your health code (a QR code that is displayed in the APP) turns yellow or red, respectively.
  • The system works retroactively as well, so if you were unlucky enough to have travelled to a “safe” area a couple of days ago and then that area is declared an at risk area then your health code will change.

The government here jumped right on the whole concept of track and trace and the average Chinese citizens just did as they were told. You can bet track and trace in China is not going to go away after the pandemic. After all, it’s the government’s responsibility to keep everyone safe and they need to know where you are and who you were with to keep you safe.

Well, that’s the current news from China.”

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