US warns of ‘arbitrary’ Covid restrictions in China, as some staff of Shanghai consulate allowed to leave

The United States on Saturday warned of “arbitrary” Covid-19 measures in China and said it would let some staff leave its Shanghai consulate amid a surge of infections in the locked-down megacity.

Until March, China had kept cases low with snap lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions, but more than 100,000 cases have been reported in Shanghai since March in a test of the country’s strict zero-Covid policy.

A guard, wearing personal protective gear, receives goods from a delivery worker in a compound during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing’an district in Shanghai on April 8, 2022. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP.

The city’s roughly 25 million inhabitants were locked down in phases last week, prompting complaints of food shortages and viral videos of disgruntled residents scuffling with officials.

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