Normal is still ‘far away’ in Shanghai despite ‘no COVID’ status being appreciated According to Reuters
© Reuters. A man looks over the fence of a closed street during lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China, May 16, 2022. REUTERS / Aly Song
By David Stanway and Martin Quin Pollard
SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) -Shanghai has hit the long-awaited milestone for three days in a row with no new COVID-19 cases outside of quarantine but most residents will suffer. solitary confinement for a while longer before resuming a more normal life.
For other cities in China that have been locked down, a Tuesday with no new cases in the community usually means a “COVID-free” state and the beginning of the lifting of restrictions.
The 25-million-person mall offered the clearest schedule yet for its exit from closures in its seventh week, but the plan was met with skepticism from many residents, who have witnessed The isolation lasted from time to time.
A Shanghai resident who is still stuck at home said: “Normally it’s far away.
Shanghai plans to resume outdoor activities in phases, with some shops reopening this week, but most movement restrictions remain in place until May 21. , after which public transport and other services will gradually resume.
By June, the lockdown will be lifted, but residents will still be required to check in regularly.
Many people were allowed out of their homes this week, with some jogging and walking their dogs. A man is seen fishing in the Shanghai River.
But tall fences still exist around many residential areas and there are almost no personal cars on the streets and most people are still confined to their homes.
It’s not clear how many stores will reopen this week, but on a positive note, delivery apps have shown more options for people ordering from Tuesday.
A social media account run by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily posted pictures on Monday night that said it showed breakfast shops, restaurants and hair salons open. .
But one social media user described the post as “nonsense”.
“We were locked at home for two months… This story is for anyone other than those in Shanghai.”
By Tuesday morning, the post had been deleted.
A video posted by another state-backed media announced the reopening Alibaba (NYSE 🙂 Grocery store Freshippo, has about 10 employees in heart-shaped hazmat suits, but only two look like shoppers.
A sign on the store door says customers must present a negative COVID test and a card showing they are allowed to leave the house, among other requirements. Only 20 customers are allowed inside at a time.
Overall, Shanghai reported less than 1,000 new cases on May 16, all areas within the most tightly controlled.
In relatively freer areas, where people are monitored to gauge progress in eradicating the outbreak, no new cases were detected for a third day.
China’s zero-tolerance “0 COVID” policy has placed hundreds of millions of consumers and workers in various restrictions at a time when the rest of the world is forcing them to “live with the virus.” even as the disease spreads.
This week’s data showed the economic devastation caused by the closure of Shanghai and curbs in dozens of other major cities, with retail sales and industrial output falling at the fastest rates in more than a year. two years in April.
The American Chamber of Commerce warned that COVID-19 control measures will hinder foreign investment in China for years to come as travel restrictions disrupt the appraisal process for projects. Large companies are also looking for alternative sources of supply chains.
The state planning agency said it would step up support for manufacturers, the service sector and small companies to mitigate the impact of COVID.
A meeting convened by China’s top political advisory body with tech executives is also being closely watched for clues as to how far authorities will go in easing A regulatory crackdown on the sector began in late 2020 and has affected growth.
China shares edged up slightly on bets on easing of supervision over the tech sector and Shanghai’s progress on COVID.
TIGHTENING IN BEIJING
Beijing’s most recent daily visit count was 52, with authorities detecting several dozen new infections almost daily despite gradually tightening restrictions over the past three weeks or so. .
Food services are banned in the capital, some malls and other businesses are closed, public transport is limited and many residents are advised to work from home.
Residents in some COVID-affected areas of Beijing’s Fengtai district have been ordered not to leave their vicinity, state television reported on Tuesday.
In Beijing’s largest district, Chaoyang, some complexes have closed side exits while the main gate is manned by volunteers who check health credentials on a device app. cell phone that authorities use to track COVID.
Security personnel patrolled the banks of the nearby Liangma Canal, which has become a picnic spot in recent weeks for residents who are not allowed to go elsewhere. Signs were posted asking people to “avoid crowds, gather and eat together”.