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Shanghai wants to reopen more companies closed by COVID-19 lockdown, Beijing fights on

Shanghai will gradually begin reopening businesses such as shopping malls and hair salons in China’s financial and manufacturing center from Monday after weeks of strict COVID-19 lockdown, as Beijing battles a small but persistent outbreak.

Most important points:

Vice Mayor Chen Tong gave a COVID-19 briefing on SundayShopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets to resume shopping operations Hair salons and vegetable markets to reopen

Shanghai is nearly closed for over six weeks. Still, it is tightening curbs in some areas it hopes will be a final push in its campaign against the virus, which has enraged and exhausted residents of China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city.

Malls, department stores, and supermarkets will resume in-store operations and allow customers to shop “an orderly manner”. At the same time, limited-capacity hair salons and vegetable markets will reopen, Vice Mayor Chen Tong told a media briefing on Sunday.

He did not provide details on the pace or extent of such reopenings, and many residents reacted online with skepticism.

“Who are you lying to? We can’t even get out of our compound. You can open up, nobody can go,” said a user of China’s Twitter-like Weibo, whose IP showed it was from Shanghai.

During Shanghai’s lockdown, residents were mainly limited to buying essentials, with normal shopping on online platforms largely suspended due to a shortage of couriers.

And while barbers and barbers have had their hair cut on the street or in open areas of residential complexes, residents who have recently been able to leave their homes for a few hours at a time to walk or run errands are generally more confused than usual.

outlier approach

China’s strict “dynamic zero” approach to COVID has restricted hundreds of millions of people in dozens of cities to varying degrees to eliminate the spread of the disease.

The curbs are wreaking havoc on the world’s second-largest economy, even as most countries try to return to normal life despite ongoing infections.

New bank lending hit its lowest level in nearly four and a half years in April as the pandemic shocked the economy and weakened demand for credit, central bank data showed on Friday.

The Asian Football Confederation said on Saturday that China had withdrawn from hosting the 2023 Asian Cup finals due to the COVID crisis.

COVID-19 lockdown

This followed China’s cancellation or postponement of numerous international sporting events it would hold in the second half of 2022.

The football tournament decision sparked speculation on social media in China that the zero-COVID policy could last well into next year.

China managed to keep COVID at bay after it was first discovered in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019 but struggled to contain the highly contagious Omicron variant.

The head of the World Health Organization said last week that China’s approach is not “sustainable”.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, and up and down hands for volume. Watch Duration: 1 minute 22 seconds 1m 22s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says China needs to change its strategy.

But the country is widely expected to stick with its approach until the ruling Communist Party’s Congress, which historically falls in the fall, where President Xi Jinping is poised to set a precedent for the third five-year term of leadership.

The number of cases in Shanghai continued to improve, with 1,369 daily symptomatic and asymptomatic infections, from 1,681 a day earlier.

Importantly, the city reported no new cases outside the quarantine areas after finding one the day before. Consistently reaching zero issues outside of quarantine areas is important for officials to determine when they can reopen the city.

Shanghai has reached its zero-COVID target in more sparsely populated suburban districts and has started to alleviate curbs there first, such as allowing shoppers to enter supermarkets.

But over the past two weeks, restrictions have further tightened in many areas, especially in the city center, by restricting deliveries and installing more fencing.

In most of Beijing, restaurants were closed for dining, and residents were urged to stay home or work. Parks and other entertainment venues are closed, causing many people to take to the streets or into the gardens of their residential complexes to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

In the major Chaoyang district, residents were reminded by text message and, in some cases, by knocking on the door to get their daily COVID test as the capital works to break chains of infection.

Reuters/ABC

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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