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Today in Covid: Going Silent, Airport Shuttles Suspended, and Outbound Pets News

It's always darkest before the dawn?
2022-05-11 18:00:00

So... word on the street is that Shanghai has two weeks or less to reach the big ZERO, and that means things might get stricter before they get better. Just rumors, of course.

What's that saying?

It's always darkest before the dawn?

And on that note...

Lots of compounds are "going silent"

Several compounds in the city have implemented a "silent period" in which residents are being asked ("asked") to stay in their apartments and refrain from receiving delivery orders. This doesn't seem to be a city-wide policy, and there has been no official announcements at the municipal level, but as we've seen with this whole thing, a mandate gets handed down from on high — in this case, do what you need to do to reach zero cases — and then it gets interpreted and implemented in a variety of different ways in practice.

So, yeah, some compounds are doing this. Some aren't. And from anecdotal evidence, some compounds are doing it but not really trying all that hard with it.

If this is the first you're hearing of it, maybe sort yourself for extra food in case it suddenly comes up at yours. And... yeah, we hope this yields some sort of positive effect in a few days.

So, the entire building has to be taken if there's just one positive case?

Oh, here's a new thing. The past few days has seen "close contacts" of positive cases — people who live on the same floor or building — get shuttled off to hotels despite testing negative. This is, of course, a pretty radical shift from existing policy that people who test negative can... y'know... stay in their homes for lockdown. Again, this is another one that is being variously interpreted by the individual neighborhood committee that is encountering it.

From our own personal experience: Yesterday, an occupant in an apartment two floors down from ours tested positive. They went to Covid camp. The people in apartments on either side were taken to a hotel. They left the rest of the floor alone.

Addressing this specifically, the Shanghai CDC announced in a press conference:

"Only those in old residential compounds who live on the same floor as a positive COVID-19 case and share a kitchen or bathroom with that person will be considered close contacts and put under central quarantine. Those living on the same floor or on the floors immediately above or below a positive case will be considered secondary contacts, who can quarantine in their homes if conditions allow."

That's the official line. "Conditions" allowing home quarantine are, evidently, being assessed according to the given situation.

Most airport shuttle services are no longer available

Speaking of "things getting stricter". An airport and hospital shuttle service that SmartShanghai has been working with for a few weeks now reports that they are no longer able to offer rides to the airport... or anywhere else. The situation appears to be affecting most car services, so getting somewhere in Shanghai just got more difficult. Talking to the management of the company, it appears that the previous situation was a gray area in which an issued license for an authorized ride was re-used to drive other customers. This loophole is now... no longer a loophole.

So, what are the new options for getting to a hospital?

1) As always, these days, the first thing to do is to ask your neighborhood committee. Some compounds report that they have transportation options available.

2) If you have your own car, you may ask the neighborhood committee for permission for your trip to the hospital. This largely depends on the case situation in your compound and Jiedao, and how urgent the medical situation you are in is.

3) Although you cannot hire a taxi directly, the government has said that you can call your district hotline to ask them to help you arrange for a taxi to get to a hospital. District numbers are available here: link.

4) In the case of emergency, call 120. You probably have to wait for hours to get an ambulance but that's just how we're living these days in 2022. Try every method above first.

So, what are the new options for getting to the airport?

This seems significantly more difficult.

1) The airport shuttle bus from Hongqiao Airport to Pudong Airport is still operating, if you can find a way of getting to Hongqiao Airport. Yeah, we know that doesn't really help. Unfortunately, all metro lines have ceased operations.

2) We've heard quite a few success stories from people who have asked their family, friends or colleagues to drive them to the airport after asking permission from the compound. The permission is a stamped pass that indicates your identity and why you need to leave the compound. As a result, the person who drives you to the airport will have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days afterwards. They will also need a negative Covid test within the last 48 hours to drive you there. But again, this cannot be guaranteed with rules changing every day.

3)Walking... biking... Sorry. Again. This is just how we're living in 2022.

Trying to end on a positive note: The US CDC helps dog owners and the Changning Shenpu clinic is open again... ish

Shenpu clinic, a government sanctioned pet hospital that handles pre-flight vaccinations and blood test for taking pets out of the country, has been closed since the lockdown, and has been only accepting emergency appointments through a by-invitation-only WeChat group for those with flights in May.

The only Shenpu that handles pre-flight health checks in cooperation with Shanghai Customs is the Xujiahui road Huangpu branch, and it's still closed to general appointments.

The Changning branch of Shenpu, however, has recently reopened and they are offering limited services, specifically microchips and rabies vax's. These are the first steps you need to complete to get a dog license and to move your pet out of the country. They're only doing these two things, though, so you'll still have to try other avenues for additional steps, for example if your destination requires a rabies antibody titre test.

More on getting your pets out of the country: We talked to Lee-Anne from SCAA and she updated that despite some flight cancellations putting export plans at risk due to limited airline spots to re-book pets, there is some good news for Americans trying to get their dog home. The US CDC has extended a temporary suspension for Shanghai residents to get an import permit: "People evacuating Shanghai with 3 or fewer personal pet dogs don't require a CDC Dog Import Permit if booking travel between April 4 and June 20".

This just in: Xuhui District achieves zero clearance

Xuhui joins Putuo as the second downtown Shanghai district to "basically" achieve zero community transmission. This is a good thing.

This will result in more freedoms for people living in Xuhui, right?