Shanghai aims to reopen more businesses shut by COVID, Beijing battles on

 Shanghai aims to reopen more businesses shut by COVID, Beijing battles on

  • Shanghai malls, stores to gradually resume in-store operations
  • Some districts in Beijing are expanding the guide to working from home
  • The Shanghai lockout failed, angering residents
  • The curves are breaking down the world’s supply chains

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, May 15 (Reuters)-Shanghai is slowly starting to reopen businesses such as shopping malls and hair salons in China’s financial and manufacturing hub from Monday after weeks. of strict COVID-19 locking, while Beijing fought a small but tough outbreak.

All but shutting down for more than six weeks, Shanghai has tightened curves in some areas expected to mark a final push in its campaign against the virus, which has angered and exhausted residents the largest and most cosmopolitan city in China.

Shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets will begin continuing in-store operations and allow customers to shop “in a good way”, while hair salons and vegetable markets will also open with limited capacity, Vice Mayor Chen Tong said at a media briefing on Sunday.

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He did not provide details on the speed or extent of the reopening, and many residents of the town of 25 million reacted online with skepticism.

“Who are you lying to? We can’t even get out of our compound. You can open, no one can go,” said a Weibo user like Twitter in China, whose IP appears to be from Shanghai.

During the Shanghai lock-up, residents were particularly limited in purchasing necessities, with normal online shopping largely suspended due to a lack of couriers.

And while barbers and hairdressers cut the streets or open areas of housing compounds, residents have recently left homes for short outings to walk or shop. groceries often appear to be more chaotic than usual.

In an optimistic sign, the Shanghai subway operator has begun testing trains across its extensive network in preparation for reopening, a local government media outlet reported, but did not provide indication of when to do so.

Shanghai residents are frustrated by unclear or unequal rules as the town makes tentative steps toward easing curves.

In the Changning district on Sunday, a woman started walking her dog before being told by a police officer to go home.

“The lock hasn’t been removed yet!”, Shouted the policeman.


China’s strict “dynamic zero” approach to COVID puts hundreds of millions of people in dozens of cities under curves at varying levels of trying to eradicate the spread of the disease.

The curves are hurting the world’s second -largest economy and disrupting the world’s supply chains even as most countries try to return to normal life despite ongoing infections.

New bank lending hit a nearly four-and-a-half-year low in April as a pandemic shook the economy and weakened credit demand, central bank data showed on Friday.

The Asian Football Confederation said on Saturday that China has withdrawn from hosting the 2023 Asian Cup finals due to COVID, the latest in a wave of cancellations of the sporting event in China and prompted social media speculation that its zero-COVID policy may continue until the next. year. read more

China was able to curb COVID after it was discovered in Wuhan in late 2019, but has struggled to curb the most contagious Omicron variant. The World Health Organization said last week China’s approach was not “sustainable”. read more

However, China is widely expected to continue its approach even until the congress of the ruling Communist Party, which is in the autumn history, where President Xi Jinping is ready to get a precedent-breaking third term in office.

Despite the unrest, no senior Chinese officials have spoken publicly against a COVID-19 policy defended by Beijing as saving lives.

Shanghai case numbers continue to improve, with 1,369 daily symptomatic and asymptomatic infections reported, up from 1,681 a day earlier.

Importantly, the town reported no new cases outside the quarantine areas after being spotted a day earlier. The consistent achievement of zero cases outside the quarantine areas is a key factor for officials to determine when they can reopen the town.

Shanghai has achieved its zero-COVID target in thinner-populated suburban districts and has first begun easing curves there, such as allowing shoppers to enter supermarkets, but it continues to tighten bans in many areas over the past two weeks, restricting deliveries and placing even more. coral.

In Beijing, where restaurants are closed for dining, several districts on Sunday extended guidance to work from home and officials announced three more days of mass daily testing for most residents in city.

Beijing said it found 55 new cases in the 24 hours to 3 pm (0700 GMT) on Sunday, 10 of which were outside the quarantine areas. The city is scrambling to spread community infections.

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Reporting by Brenda Goh, Albee Zhang and Tony Munroe; Edited by William Mallard, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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