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China says family infections among reasons responsible for Shanghai COVID spread

Beijing : The recent spike in global financial hub Shanghai, which has caused a major disruption in supply chains, has been attributed to family infections and logistics transmission. Shanghai registered 2,573 locally transmitted confirmed infections and 25,146 asymptomatic carriers on Wednesday amid the continuing lockdown in the biggest Chinese city. In an editorial published in the Global Times, state media acknowledged that the quarantine of around 20 million residents in their homes and rising infections have stirred public concerns. Wu Huanyu, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the delay in the release of screening data has led to increases over the past few days. According to Wu, the workload of nucleic acid testing is huge since if mixed samples test positive, the suspicious samples will be tested individually and verified again, and follow-up epidemiological investigations will be carried out to collect accurate medical and personal information while accomplishing reporting.The second reason for the increasing numbers is family infections and the latent and fast-spreading characteristics of the Omicron variant, Global Times reported. Amid growing criticism over its zero-COVID policy, China on Tuesday defended its coronavirus measures that reportedly have resulted in hardship in several Chinese cities including the global financial hub Shanghai. Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the country's "dynamic" zero-COVID policy and anti-epidemic protocols are based on science and expert opinions. "They have effectively protected the life and health of Chinese and foreign nationals living in China and made important contributions to the global fight against the pandemic. The international community, the WHO included, has spoken highly of them," he said. This response comes as the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said COVID lockdowns have caused "significant disruptions" for many companies. Nearly half of German firms said in a survey their supply chains have been impacted. Further defending the country's COVID-19 policies, the Chinese spokesperson said although these measures have had some impact on daily life and production, the effect is limited in both duration and scope. He said all prevention and control measures "come at a price."

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