Shanghai Reports First Covid-19 Deaths in Nearly Two Years

The city of 26 million is enduring a tough lockdown with Beijing determined to pursue a policy of zero covid.

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A Shanghai resident walks his dog in a residential housing compound during covid-19 lockdown on April 16, 2022.
A Shanghai resident walks his dog in a residential housing compound during covid-19 lockdown on April 16, 2022.
Photo: Liu Jin / AFP (Getty Images)

Health officials in the city of Shanghai, China reported three new deaths from covid-19 on Monday, the first fatalities from the disease in nearly two years. The three people who died had not been vaccinated against covid-19, according to NPR. The last reported covid-19 death in the city was April 8, 2020.

Shanghai reported 22,248 new local infections on Monday, according to China’s National Health Commission, by far the worst outbreak in all of China right now. The vast majority of those infections were asymptomatic. Mainland China reported 1,104 new local infections outside of Shanghai on Monday.

Residents of Shanghai have struggled with this most recent lockdown, which started in late March. Viral videos have emerged showing health workers beating residents for allegedly violating covid protocols and unconfirmed reports have even claimed pets of people who test positive have been killed.


China’s government has pursued the controversial goal of completely eliminating covid-19 from the country, rather than allowing it to circulate through the country. And while the strategy has likely saved millions of lives since the start of the pandemic, it’s a draconian policy that has severely impeded people’s ability to move freely.

The U.S. reported 8,099 new cases on Sunday, a vast undercount given that just four of the 50 states reported their numbers on the Easter holiday. The U.S. is currently averaging 36,698 new cases per day, a number that itself is likely artificially low due to the vast number of people who test positive with home testing and don’t report the results to their local health commission. The U.S. is averaging 447 new deaths from covid-19 each day.


The U.S. has reported over 80.5 million covid-19 cases since the pandemic started in early 2020 and over 987,000 deaths. China, by contrast, has reported 4,641 deaths since the pandemic began.