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Shanghai gradually eases restrictions against Covid-19

Shanghai is taking a further step towards a total lifting of the containment. The city announced on Tuesday a further easing of anti-Covid restrictions this week. The Chinese economic capital has been shut down for two months, a situation that exasperates the 25 million inhabitants and strangles the economy.

Shanghai was locked down in stages from the end of March to cope with a nationwide outbreak, the worst since the pandemic began in late 2019. Unlike many countries, China continues to apply a zero Covid strategy, which consists in particular of imposing quarantines and confinements as soon as cases appear in order to avoid deaths.

Full but gradual return to normal

After already easing several restrictions in recent weeks, the town hall said on Tuesday that residents of areas deemed to be low risk will be allowed to move freely in the city from Wednesday.

This important step towards the end of the containment will apply to about 22 million people, told the press Zong Ming, one of the deputy mayors of Shanghai. From Wednesday midnight (2 p.m. French time on Tuesday), “the city will enter the third phase [du déconfinement]with a complete but gradual return to normal, she said.

Removal of barriers

Shopping malls, convenience stores, pharmacies and beauty salons will be able to operate at 75 percent capacity, Zong Ming said. Sports halls and cinemas will remain closed and the reopening of schools will be done on a case-by-case basis.

Shanghai media have released photos of officers in orange gear removing some of the barriers that have been blocking areas of the city for weeks. Until then, the population could generally only go out for a few hours a day at best, provided they were in a neighborhood without any cases.

Return of public transport

Taxis and private cars will a priori be able to circulate again on the roads in so-called low-risk areas on Wednesday, while public transport will resume. People who live in areas considered “high risk” will still be subject to travel restrictions.

The health ministry reported 31 new positive cases in Shanghai on Tuesday, up from more than 25,000 at the end of last month. The shutdown of the city, the most populous in China, has weakened the economy, penalized production, limited consumption and seriously disrupted supply chains.

Source: 20minutes

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