Today in Covid: Parents, Kids, Covid Quarantine Concerns


Day two of Puxi’s lockdown and thank god we’re not out of wine yet. Here’s your daily (pretty much) round-up of Covid-related news.

Puxi’s second round of nucleic acid testing probably postponed

A slight speed bump in road on the Shanghai, Puxi lockdown road trip. Our second round of widespread nucleic acid testing, originally scheduled for tomorrow — Sunday, April 3 — has been delayed to a later date. You will be contacted about the new time and date for the second round of nucleic acid testing soon. They know where to find you.

Parents, children, and Covid quarantine policy raises concerns

The big hot button issue this weekend around social and official media has been the separation of families – kids and parents -with mandatory quarantines. Specifically, in the scenario where parent(s) tests positive and get taken to a quarantine center, and the kids test negative.

Today, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau has made the policy clear: A caregiver designated by either parents or subdistrict must look after children, if their parents test positive for COVID-19 or are under lockdown. If no caregiver is found, the district, subdistrict or town must designate a temporary guardian with the authorization of the parents.

One video that surfaced online specifically shows a few young crying infants sharing the same bed in what appears to be a hospital ward separated from their parents. The video has sparked widespread concern among parents. Today, while restating the policy above, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau explained that the video was filmed while transitioning the babies to another location and is misleading of the actual conditions kids are experiencing.

Meanwhile, there’s been some pushback from the community online who view the prospect, in general, of getting separated from their kids as more damaging than, say, a home quarantine situation with the whole family, especially in cases that are mild or asymptomatic. The French consulate has issued a statement on their website addressing topic, stating that they’ve joined in agreement with the other European consulates, and have taken the issue up with the Foreign Affairs Office. From the consulate website:

“The Consul General of France spoke today with the Director of the Foreign Affairs Office in Shanghai and highlighted the concerns of foreign communities and the practical difficulties they encounter in the context of the confinement. In particular, he recalled our expectations, shared by all European consulates, relating to the accommodation conditions for people who tested positive and insisted on the principle of non-separation of families in all cases. He also stressed the importance of ensuring effective access to care in the event of a medical emergency.”

And that’s where we’re at now…

Pudong’s lockdown has been lifted. How many people are out?

The answer to that came this morning via the city’s daily announcement. Zero.

To recap, after Pudong’s general lockdown was lifted at 5am on April 1, the district was divided into a three-tiered rating system to determine the amount of mobility they would be availed dependent on a given individual building’s proximity to a confirmed positive case. Two of the zones -“Lockdown” and “Control” -call extended restrictions, keeping residents in their apartments. A third classification -“Prevention Area” -enabled people to move around their own “communities” within some guidelines.

Announced this morning, there aren’t any Prevention Areas, which speaks to the breadth of cases across the river. The vast majority of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues remain closed as well.

Calls for home quarantine for asymptomatic cases getting louder?

Shanghai is building new quarantine centers at record speed, but calls for home quarantine for positive cases –the common strategy overseas –are getting louder. In a recent interview, the head of Shanghai’s central quarantine treatment team did not rule out the possibility of implementing home isolation for asymptomatic cases in the future. He mentioned, however, that currently, a central order does not allow for the implementation of home quarantine.

Shanghai to standardize “venue entry codes”

It was always sort of the rule before lockdown –people might have to take a temperature check and write their name and mobile number on a form before entering a venue –but as of April 5, Shanghai is standardizing and digitizing this practice, with venue guests having to scan a “venue code” before being allowed to enter a given public location.

These venue “sentry points” as they are being called, will access the health information stored on our phone and compile it, which venues can then supply to the relevant authorities should there be… well, you know… an issue.

Sounds… brave… sounds new.

Previously, with the written forms, it was sort of half enforced. It seems this “venue code” system will become a permanent part of your life, with basically everywhere being required to implement it — museums, galleries, malls, restaurants, bars, all entertainment venues, all commercial venues, everything, everything, everything –and it being strictly enforced.

Don’t worry so much about your expired visa also but kinda worry about your expired visa

In a release on Friday, authorities stressed that people with expired visas should get that sorted out “as soon as they are able to travel to application centers,” reports SHINE.

Evidently, authorities are wary of having a repeat of 2020, when, apparently, people overstayed their visas for some time, citing Covid travel restrictions as the reason. To avoid being penalized this time, they report, applicants with expired visas will also be required to “show proof” to officers as to why they couldn’t get their papers renewed in time.

They go on to state that you should apply for your extensions at least a week before your visa expires if you are able to.

Just FYI if you’re in that situation…

…And also, hey this coming Monday Is Qingming Festival

Qingming Festival (“Tomb Sweeping Festival”) is this coming Monday and Tuesday, so these two days are public holidays. Which means you can stay at home and don’t need to work. Search for “Qingming” on SmartShanghai for an interesting read on what Qingming is all about. We’re guessing you’ve got the free time?


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