Shanghai / Beijing:
Shanghai on Tuesday achieved the long-awaited three-day long milestone where there are no new COVID-19 cases outside the quarantine zone but most residents will have to stay in captivity for some more time before they can begin a more normal life.
For other cities in China that are under lockdown, the third day without any new cases in the community usually means “zero COVID” status and the start of lifting restrictions.
The 25-million-strong shopping mall on Monday still has a clear timetable for its seventh week out of a lockdown, but the plan was met with skepticism by many residents who have repeatedly seen the increase in isolation.
“Normality is far away,” said a Shanghai resident who is still trapped at home.
Shanghai plans to reopen outdoor activities in phases with some stores reopening this week, but with most restrictions on movement until May 21, after which public transportation and other services will gradually resume.
By June, the lockdown should be lifted, but residents will still be asked to check frequently.
More people were allowed out of their homes this week, with some joggers and dog walkers spotted. One person was seen fishing in the Shanghai River.
But with long residential fences around many residential compounds and almost no private cars on the road, most people are still confined to their homes.
It’s not clear how many stores have reopened this week, but on a positive note, delivery apps have shown more options for people to order since Tuesday.
A social media account run by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper posted a photograph on Monday evening stating that it had opened breakfast joints, restaurants and hairdressers.
But a social media user described the post as “nonsense”.
“We’ve been locked in the house for two months … this story is for someone other than the people of Shanghai.”
The post was deleted by Tuesday morning.
A video posted by another state-sponsored media outlet announces the reopening of an Alibaba Freshippo grocery store, where about 10 employees are seen making a hazmat suit the shape of a heart with their hands, but only two people who look like shoppers. Was.
A sign on the store door states that customers must show a negative COVID test and a pass that indicates they are approved outside the home, among other requirements. Only 20 customers can enter at a time.
Overall, Shanghai reported less than 1,000 new cases as of May 16, with all inland areas under strict control.
In the relatively open area, which was observed to measure progress in eradicating the outbreak, no new cases were found on the third day.
China’s uncompromising “Zero Kovid” policy has placed millions of consumers and workers under various restrictions at a time when the rest of the world is lifting them “to live with the virus” even after the infection has spread.
This week’s data show that the lockdown in Shanghai and controls in dozens of other major cities have sent the economy into a tailspin, with retail sales and industrial production falling sharply in more than two years in April.
The American Chamber of Commerce has warned that coveted controls will hamper foreign investment in China for years to come as travel bans will hamper proper work on projects. Large companies are also looking for alternative sources for the supply chain, it said.
The state planner said it would strengthen support for manufacturers, the service sector and smaller companies to mitigate the effects of Covid.
A meeting convened by China’s top political advisory body with tech executives, which began in late 2020 and closely monitored how far the authorities could go to ease regulatory crackdowns on the growth-focused sector, was also closely monitored by Clue.
Chinese stock prices rose slightly in the wake of weak regulatory audits in the technical sector and Shanghai’s progress on COVID.
Strictly in Beijing
Beijing’s latest daily caseload was 52, with authorities discovering dozens of new infections on a daily basis, despite gradually tightening restrictions over the past three weeks or more.
Dine-in services have been banned in the capital, some malls and other businesses have been closed, public transport has been reduced and many residents have been advised to work from home.
Residents of some Kovid-affected parts of Beijing’s Fengtai district have been instructed not to leave their surroundings, state television reported Tuesday.
In Chawang, Beijing’s largest district, some compounds have blocked side exits while the main gates are operated by volunteers that mobile app authorities use to track covid check health certificates.
Security personnel patrolled the banks of the nearby Liangma Canal, which has become a picnic spot in recent weeks to prevent residents from going anywhere else. Signs were set up for people to “avoid crowds, gatherings and eating together”.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)