BEIJING, China – The United States issued an order to pull ‘non-emergency’ staff from Shanghai amidst the tight lockdown in the city put in place to contain the Covid spread.

“US orders all non-emergency government staff to leave #Shanghai immediately due to the ongoing #Covid lockdowns #China,” a News Outlet Tweeted.

Around 26 million people residing in the city are currently staying in their homes for three weeks as China imposes a strict lockdown to follow its ‘Zero-Covid’ strategy, which requires mass testing and strict isolation to handle the outbreak.

However, people living in the tough situation have reported an elevated desperate situation in the country, with residents unable to step out of their homes for food and other necessities. On the other hand, people who test Covid positive are held in unsanitary mass quarantine centers where the situation often gets out of control due to crowds.

On Tuesday, authorities reported that another batch of 23,342 people had tested positive for Covid in Shanghai – noting an increase in the cases than the previous days when 994 showed the symptoms. The overall infectious rate has surged to 200,000 or even more, with no death reports in the latest wave.

According to the State Department, Monday’s order announcement advances the previous ‘authorized departure advisory’ that made the decision discretionary.  The call-back order includes ‘non-emergency US government employees’ working at the consulate in Shanghai as well as their family members.

‘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,” said the announcement.

The Department also made a series of announcements for US immigrants in Shanghai, one saying they must have a “sufficient supply of money, medication, food, and other necessities for your family in the event of sudden restrictions or quarantine.”

The Chinese government and media are being excessively defensive regarding complaints about their preventive measures against Covid. Meanwhile, Beijing responded furiously to the previous week’s voluntary departure advisory with Zhao Lijian, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, saying, ‘China was strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the U.S. side’s groundless accusation against China’s epidemic response.”