Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Shanghai moves towards ending 2-month COVID-19 lockdown

BEIJING ( Associated Press) – Shanghai officials say they will take some big steps Wednesday toward reopening China’s largest city after a two-month COVID-19 lockdown that has choked the national economy and Millions of people have been locked up in their homes on a large scale.

In a daily news conference on the city’s outbreak, Vice Mayor Zong Ming said on Tuesday that full bus and subway service would be restored, as would basic rail connections with the rest of China.

Schools will partially reopen for students on a voluntary basis and shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores will continue to reopen gradually with no more than 75% of their total capacity. Cinemas and gyms will remain closed.

Officials, who set June 1 as the target date The first to reopen in May, appear poised to accelerate gradually easing in recent days. Some malls and markets have reopened, and some residents have been allowed outside for a few hours at a time. At least in some chat groups, cynicism about the slow pace and the intermittent nature of opening up gave way to excitement about the prospect of being able to move freely on Tuesday. In the city for the first time since the end of March.

Shanghai reported 29 new cases on Monday, continuing a steady decline of more than 20,000 a day in April. Li Qiang, the top official of China’s ruling Communist Party in Shanghai, was quoted as saying at a meeting on Monday that the city had made great achievements in fighting the outbreak through relentless struggle.

Success came at a cost. Authorities imposed a suffocating citywide lockdown as part of China’s “zero-Covid” strategy, which aims to contain any outbreak with large-scale testing and isolation of any infected person at centralized facilities.

Schools will reopen for the last two years of high school and the third year of middle school, but students can decide whether to attend in person. Other grades and kindergartens remain closed.

The country’s capital Beijing on Tuesday further eased restrictions in some districts. The city imposed a limited lockdown, but nothing near city level, in the very small outbreak that appears to have occurred. 18 new cases were reported in Beijing on Monday.

Nation World News Desk
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