Shanghai’s health commissioner has been hospitalised, as the pressure of keeping a metropolis of 25 million residents locked down took its toll on the city’s top health official. Wu Jinglei, head of Shanghai’s health commission, is recovering from migraine at the Zhongshan Hospital in the Xuhui district in Puxi, according to two local government officials who know about his health condition, speaking on condition of anonymity. He does not have the Covid-19 disease, they said. The paediatrician, 60, is the director and deputy commissar of the Shanghai Health Commission, the local authority at the forefront of the city’s struggle to keep the Covid-19 disease at bay. News about his illness was widely circulated on social media. “Wu is well regarded in Shanghai,” said Meng Tianying, a senior executive at Shanghai-based consultancy Domo Medical. “His expertise and knowledge [about public health management] are still badly needed in Shanghai’s battle against the virus.” Wu is not the only local official to have buckled under the stress of maintaining a citywide lockdown in Shanghai, now entering its third week, which has strained supply chains, depleted essential supplies and led to seething public anger. A health commission staff died last week in an apparent suicide. Qian Wenxiong, a cadre with the city’s Hongkou District Health Commission, died on Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement published on its official Weibo account on Thursday. He was 55. Wu could not be reached for comment, while the city’s health commission and information office declined to comment. He was diagnosed at Zhongshan with a vascular headache, or migraine, according to a case report that has been circulated online. Its veracity could not be determined. Wu, born in 1962, is past the mandatory retirement age among China’s civil servants. The paediatrician trained at the Fudan University’s Shanghai Medical College, where he earned a doctoral degree. He attended 26 of the 48 daily press briefings organised by the Shanghai authorities since March 1, acting as the chief spokesman. “Rarely have local residents vented their disappointment towards him although the municipal government has been surrounded by seething public anger during the coronavirus outbreak,” said Meng, who doesn’t know Wu personally. Wu, whose Chinese name translates to “striking thunder,” is one of the two medical experts hailed as the pillar of Shanghai’s combat against Covid-19, the other being the leading epidemiologist Zhang Wenhong. Shanghai, one of China’s largest population centres and the country’s financial heart, has reported 408,000 infections – the vast majority of them asymptomatic – of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19 since March 1. The infections in the past month and the resultant death toll had surpassed the sum of cases in the city over the past two years, a deterioration that has tarnished Shanghai’s much-lauded track record at keeping the disease at bay. Shanghai added 18,901 new cases, according to data released on Wednesday, the first time that the daily caseload had dipped below the 20,000 mark in 13 days. Chinese Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan who has been in Shanghai to oversee the anti-pandemic work since April 2, said on Tuesday that a Zero-Covid goal would be achieved in Shanghai soon.