Shanghai moves closer to reopening after Covid lockdown

The Chinese metropolis of Shanghai is moving towards a gradual reopening after two months of confinement by Covid-19, as Beijing authorities prepare to ease restrictions in some parts of the capital, stating this Saturday that the outbreak is under control.

Shanghai intends to end its lockdown starting Wednesday, having eased restrictions over the last week. It has been allowed more people leave their homes and more businesses reopenthough most residents remain confined to their housing complexes, with shops mostly limited to deliveries.

the shanghai authorities urged to maintain vigilancedespite the fact that the vast majority of its 25 million residents live in areas that are in the category of lower risk “prevention”.

Photo: Reuters

Videos posted on social media showed many people, including foreigners, drinking and dancing in the streets on Friday night in a central part of the city, before police interrupted them and told them to go to House.

The two-month confinement of the largest and most cosmopolitan city in China has frustrated and angered residentshundreds of thousands of whom have been quarantined in often overcrowded central facilities.

many had difficulties accessing food or sufficient medical care during the first weeks of confinement.

In Beijing, cases have been declining for six days, and on Friday no new infections were recorded outside the quarantine zones. The outbreak that began on April 22 is “effectively under control,” a city government spokesman told a news conference.

As of Sunday, the reopening of shopping malls, libraries, museums, theaters and gymswith a limited number of people, in eight of the 16 districts of Beijing in which no community cases have been registered for seven consecutive days.

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Two of the districts will end work-from-home rules, and public transportation will largely resume in three districts, including Chaoyang, the largest in the city. However, restaurant dining is still prohibited throughout the city.

Although the number of cases across the country is improving, China’s strict adherence to its “zero contagion” strategy it has devastated the world’s second largest economy and has shaken global supply chains.

Photo: Reuters

The economic hit was evident in data on Friday, which showed April profits at industrial companies sank 8.5% year-on-year, the biggest drop in two years.

China’s approach, which according to the government it is necessary to save lives and prevent the health system from being overwhelmed, it has been challenged by the omicron variant, difficult to contain.

The conflict between defeating the spread of Covid and supporting the economy comes in a politically sensitive year, in which the president is expected to Xi Jinping gets a third leadership term at a Communist Party congress in the fall.

The country reported on Saturday of 362 daily cases of coronavirus, down from 444 the day before. In Beijing, new infections on Friday fell from 29 to 24.

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