Shanghai reports three COVID-19 related deaths due to underlying diseases for the first time amid the latest flare-up
Published: Apr 18, 2022 12:37 PM
An elderly woman receives COVID-19 vaccine booster in Shanghai. Photo: VCG

An elderly woman receives COVID-19 vaccine booster in January 2022  in Shanghai. Photo: VCG

Shanghai on Monday reported that three senior patients infected with COVID-19 died on Sunday, this is the first time the city announced COVID-19 related deaths amid this round of flare-up.

Wu Qianyu, an official from the Shanghai health authority said at Monday's press briefing that the three patients were all seniors aged 89, 91 and 91, respectively, who hadn't received COVID-19 vaccines and already had serious underlying diseases including acute coronary syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, cerebral infarction sequelae. 

After admission to designated hospitals, their conditions worsened, and the direct causes of death were underlying diseases, Wu said.  

From February 26 to Sunday, Shanghai has reported 24,529 confirmed domestically transmitted  COVID-19 cases; among them, 4,675 have been discharged from hospital and 19,851 were hospitalized including 16 in critical conditions (three local fatalities), according to the authorities on Monday.

Among the 16, there is only one patient who has received one whole protocol of vaccinations, with the youngest one aged 33, and the rest of them aged above 70, the authorities said. 

The 33-year-old patient has a severe autoimmune disease, who needs blood dialysis and related underlying diseases and autoimmune diseases are being actively treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine along with other kinds of therapy, according to the authorities. 

As of Friday, nearly 3.6 million Shanghai residents aged 60 or above have completed the full COVID-19 vaccination, with a vaccination rate up to 62 percent; and 2.18 million of them have received booster shots, with the vaccination rate reaching 38 percent, according to Shanghai health authorities. 

Studies have shown that the Omicron variant poses a significant risk to the elderly, especially those who haven't been vaccinated and have chronic underlying diseases, Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai municipal health commission said at Sunday's press briefing. 

Vaccination does not completely stop transmission of the virus, but it is highly effective in preventing severe illness and death, Wu said.  

Shanghai's new daily tally remained high with 2,417 local confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19,831 local asymptomatic carriers being registered on Sunday, Shanghai health authorities announced on Monday. 

Starting from April 15, all personnel in the "locked down" and "controlled" areas will be screened by the combination of antigen and nucleic acid tests, and all personnel in the "precautionary" areas will be screened by antigen tests, the authorities said.

All personnel in areas under lockdown will receive nucleic acid tests once a day in the following four days, according to the authorities.

Shanghai has classified the areas as either "locked down," "controlled" or "precautionary" based on the screening results and risky situation.