The United States has ordered non-essential employees of its consulate in Shanghai to leave the Chinese city due to the high number of Covid-19 infections in it and the strict closure measures imposed by the authorities to stop the spread of the pandemic.
The US Embassy in Beijing said today, Tuesday, that the US State Department had ordered these employees “to leave due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
She noted that US diplomats informed the Chinese authorities of their “concern about the safety of American citizens” in light of the strict measures taken in the economic capital of China.
Beijing’s “zero COVID-19 infections” strategy has come under pressure since last March, as the Chinese authorities imposed a two-stage closure on Shanghai’s 25 million residents, which recorded more than 100,000 cases of the virus, which led to Complaints of food shortages and clashes with health personnel.
And the US embassy said Saturday that it would allow non-essential employees to leave the consulate in Shanghai, given the high number of HIV infections in the city, warning its citizens in China that they may face “arbitrary application” of anti-virus restrictions.
Beijing responded to Washington’s decision that day by expressing “its dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the baseless accusations of the United States about China’s epidemic control policy.”
China adheres to a policy of imposing rapid closures, widespread testing and travel restrictions to stem the spread of the virus, while the number of daily infections in Shanghai rises due to the outbreak of the mutant Omicron in the city.