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Newsline: U.S. orders non-emergency consular staff to leave Shanghai

The U.S. has ordered non-emergency government staff to leave Shanghai, which is under a tight lockdown to contain a COVID-19 surge. The State Department said the order announced late Monday is an upgrade from the “authorized” departure advisory last week that made the decision voluntary. The order covers non-emergency U.S. government employees at the consulate in Shanghai and their family members. Consular officers will remain on duty at the consulate. “Our change in posture reflects our assessment that it is best for our employees and their families to be reduced in number and our operations to be scaled down as we deal with the changing circumstances on the ground,” the announcement said. (https://news.yahoo.com/us-orders-consular-leave-shanghai-014107418.html) Many residents in the city of 26 million have been confined to their homes for up to three weeks as China maintains its “zero-COVID” strategy of handling outbreaks with strict isolation and mass testing. But people living under the restrictions have described an increasingly desperate situation, with families unable to leave their homes or obtain food and daily necessities, while people who test positive for the coronavirus have been forced into mass quarantine centers where conditions at times have been called crowded and unsanitary.

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