Months after Shanghai endured a brutal lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, the virus is starting to make its way virtually unchecked through the mega-city’s 25 million-strong population.

Hospitals are struggling to cope with the numbers of infected patients, pharmacies are turning customers away empty-handed, businesses are shutting because staff are off sick, most schools have closed and usage of public transport is plummeting.

At Tongren Hospital, one of Shanghai’s biggest public hospitals, doctors in the intensive care unit were using hallways to handle the overflow of seriously ill on Wednesday. Outside one so-called fever clinic, several dozen visibly sick people were being made to wait in the cold. Several pharmacies near the hospital were no longer allowing people to enter, saying they had run out of cold and fever medicine.