After two months, a scarred Shanghai's Covid-19 lockdown ends

31/5/2022 11:42:00 PM

After two months, a scarred Shanghai's Covid-19 lockdown ends

https://str.sg/w2jpSHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Following two months of frustration, despair and economic loss, Shanghai's draconian Covid-19 lockdown ended at midnight on Wednesday morning (June 1), prompting celebrations tempered with fear that an outbreak could return.

Most of Shanghai's 25 million residents can now freely leave home, return to work, use public transport and drive their cars - a moment that for many in China's largest and most cosmopolitan city felt like it would never arrive.At midnight, small groups gathered in the city's former French Concession neighbourhood whistled, shouted"ban lifted" and clinked glasses of champagne.

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COVID-hit Shanghai to end two-month lockdown on Jun 1SHANGHAI: Shanghai on Monday (May 30) announced an end to its two-month long COVID-19 lockdown, allowing the vast majority of people in China\u0027s largest city to leave their homes and drive their cars from Wednesday. The news brought an outpouring of relief, joy and some wariness from exhausted resident

Relief and disbelief as Shanghai to start lifting COVID-19 lockdownSHANGHAI: Shanghai authorities on Tuesday (May 31) began dismantling fences around housing compounds and ripping police tape off public squares and buildings, to the relief of the city's 25 million residents, before a painful two-month lockdown is

'Hard to believe it's actually happening': Shanghai to lift Covid-19 lockdownSHANGHAI - Shanghai authorities on Tuesday (May 31) began dismantling fences around housing compounds and ripping police tape off public squares and buildings, to the relief of the city's 25 million residents, before a painful two-month lockdown is lifted at midnight. On Monday evening, some of the people allowed out of their compounds for brief walks took advantage of suspended...

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Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.from Wednesday, as the number of infections across China dropped.SHANGHAI: Shanghai on Monday (May 30) announced an end to its two-month long COVID-19 lockdown, allowing the vast majority of people in China's largest city to leave their homes and drive their cars from Wednesday.

sg/w2jp SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Following two months of frustration, despair and economic loss, Shanghai's draconian Covid-19 lockdown ended at midnight on Wednesday morning (June 1), prompting celebrations tempered with fear that an outbreak could return. Most of Shanghai's 25 million residents can now freely leave home, return to work, use public transport and drive their cars - a moment that for many in China's largest and most cosmopolitan city felt like it would never arrive. The city will resume taxi and ride hailing services while allowing cars onto roads in low-risk areas, the municipal government said in a statement on Monday (May 30). At midnight, small groups gathered in the city's former French Concession neighbourhood whistled, shouted"ban lifted" and clinked glasses of champagne. The tough COVID-19 curbs, and especially the strict lockdown on China's most populous city, have pummelled the world's second-largest economy, disrupting global supply chains and international trade. Earlier, streets were lively as residents picnicked on grassy patches and children rode bikes down carless roads. The measures signal some of the most significant easing on movement for a sizeable part of Shanghai's residents after nearly two months of lockdown. Dancing retirees, a common evening sight in Chinese cities, strutted their stuff for the first time in months in open air plazas and along the Huangpu river. Some residents greeted the news with disbelief, reflecting on how what was originally supposed to be a lockdown lasting five days that became a much longer than anticipated ordeal.

Shanghai Disneyland, which has yet to announce a reopening date, livestreamed a lightshow to"celebrate the lifting of Shanghai's lockdown". Local residents reacted to the news with cheers and songs and some set off electronic fireworks to celebrate. Libraries, museums, theatres and gyms were allowed to reopen on Sunday, though with limits on numbers of people, in districts that have seen no community COVID-19 cases for seven consecutive days. They used a Chinese expression that also means"ban" that city officials have avoided. Under streetlamps, barbers gave haircuts to residents who had grown shaggy under lockdown. While Shanghai started to ease movement restrictions earlier this month, millions of residents found they were still confined to their housing complexes or allowed out only briefly as neighborhood committees around the city imposed strict and arbitrary curbs on movement amid concern about a rebound in cases. On the WeChat social media platform, shops announced their reopening plans. Businesses were told they can resume operations, but most residents have not been told when they can leave their housing compounds, much of public transport remains suspended, and no private cars are allowed on the roads without prior approval. "I walked the dog and the dog is pretty excited, because it has been a really long time for it to come outside," said Melody Dong, who was looking forward to eating hot pot and barbecue - foods that are difficult to make at home. Infections fell to 67 on Sunday, about half the level of the day before. People will still be required to wear masks and are discouraged from gathering and encouraged to get vaccinated.

Shanghai's ordeal has come to symbolise what critics say is the unsustainability of China's adherence to a zero-Covid policy that aims to cut off every infection chain, at any cost, even as much of the world tries to return to normal despite ongoing infections. The lack of a roadmap to exit from an approach that is increasingly challenged by the highly contagious Omicron variant has rattled investors and frustrated businesses. With nearly all of the recent new cases found in government-mandated quarantine instead of the community, the latest easing announcement will mean the end of the lockdown for most of the city's residents. On Sunday, Shanghai authorities said they will remove "unreasonable" conditions for businesses to resume work from Wednesday and announced 50 policy measures to support the economy. Covid curbs in Shanghai and numerous other Chinese cities have battered the world's second-largest economy and tangled global supply chains, although case numbers have improved and curbs have eased from the depths of April's lockdowns. China says its approach, a signature policy of President Xi Jinping, is needed to save lives and prevent its healthcare system from being swamped. With economic growth faltering, the city has pushed local enterprises to resume productions and announced accelerated approvals for property projects and incentives for car buyers among other moves. The uncertainty and discontent caused by China's Covid management has created unwanted turbulence in a sensitive political year, with Xi poised to secure a third leadership term in the autumn. There were no specific details about which restrictions on businesses would be removed. On Sunday, Shanghai announced it was removing restrictions on business reopenings, but gave no indication at that time on how it would lift other lockdown measures.

"The mood tonight is a bit like high school days. On the eve of the school year I was full of expectations for the new semester but I feel a little uneasy in my heart," wrote one user of the Twitter-like Weibo. A city scarred During two months, numerous residents of the country's most important financial and economic hub struggled to get enough food or medical care. Shanghai, Beijing and other cities in China have made significant progress in bringing daily caseloads lower, but uncertainty remains high, as the highly-transmissible Omicron variant is prone to making comebacks. Families were separated and hundreds of thousands were forced into centralised quarantine facilities. At the factories and offices that remained open - including those of Shanghai government officials - workers lived on-site in"closed-loops", bunking on makeshift beds, with many of them only now able to return home. Related: China censors zero-COVID debate after WHO criticises policy BEIJIING EASING China's"zero COVID" policy aimed at eradicating outbreaks is at odds with other countries that have opted to live with the virus, and the lack of an exit strategy has worried investors.

Curbs were lifted for about 22. Goldman Sachs economists said they could discuss China's zero-COVID policy in only one out of more than 10 recent meetings with clients in Beijing,"potentially due to its political sensitivity".5 million people in low-risk areas. Residents must still wear masks in public and avoid gatherings. Restaurant dining remains banned. The Chinese government is on track to spend more than US$52 billion this year on testing, new medical facilities, monitoring equipment and other anti-COVID measures, which will benefit as many as 3,000 companies, analysts say. Shops can operate at 75% capacity. "There was a new flare-up today, indicating Beijing's 'dynamic-zero' mission is arduous and we should constantly be on alert," municipal government spokesperson Xu Hejian told a news conference.

Gyms will reopen later. Residents will have to test every 72 hours to take public transport and enter public venues, heralding what may become a"new normal" in many Chinese cities. Related:. Those testing positive, and their close contacts, face onerous quarantines. During lockdown, Shanghai residents staged rare protests, banging on pots and pans from their windows and evading censors to vent on China's heavily policed social media. Frustrations stemmed from the lockdown itself as well as heavy-handed and often uneven enforcement and unclear communication. Shanghai reported fewer than 100 new COVID cases for May 29, while Beijing recorded 12.

"The Shanghai government needs to make a public apology in order to obtain the understanding and support of the people of Shanghai and repair the damaged relationship between the government and the people," Qu Weiguo, a professor at Fudan University's school of foreign languages, posted on WeChat. On Tuesday, the city's largest quarantine facility - a 50,000-bed section of the National Exhibition & Convention Center - discharged the last two of the 174,308 Covid-postive cases who had been housed there. It declared itself shut. Join .