Shanghai Begins Easing Lockdowns
Shanghai has begun lifting its covid lockdowns, allowing its citizens to shop and eventually move around freely. We must pray that these brutal lockdowns never happen again, and that they do not spread to America.
From The Wall Street Journal. Officials in Shanghai on Monday said they would begin gradually reopening as of June 1 if progress toward controlling the Omicron outbreak is maintained. The city recorded 896 new locally transmitted infections from the day before, and marked the second day in a row that all new cases came from inside the government’s Covid-19 containment system, according to Shanghai’s Deputy Mayor Zong Ming.
Nationwide, there were 1,106 new locally transmitted cases, the lowest daily count since March 10. In Beijing, which recorded 49 new cases on Monday, the government has been further tightening restrictions in a bid to stop the outbreak from taking root.
In a sign of the public tension over such control measures, dozens of students at China’s prestigious Peking University protested on Sunday evening after barricades were erected without notice at an off-campus residence hall, restricting their space for movement and access to the compound’s gate, according to one person who took part in the protest. One other person familiar with the matter confirmed details of the protest.
Beijing’s universities all entered a so-called closed-loop system in early May, keeping students in a “bubble” separate from the outside world, with those living off-campus traveling to their classrooms on designated buses….
In Shanghai, meanwhile, Ms. Zong, the deputy mayor, set out concrete steps for the city’s gradual reopening, after more than six weeks of lockdowns and other restrictions that have stoked widespread resentment among the city’s 25 million residents….
Shanghai has also been closing down the makeshift treatment and quarantine centers put up as cases surged. As of May 13, only around 50,000 people were being held in so-called fangcang facilities—just 20% of the number at the outbreak’s peak. Half of the city-level makeshift hospitals have now been closed. More than 95% of schools that had been taken over as temporary facilities are no longer being used and are now being cleaned, ready for students to return, according to the city government.
Rapidly falling cases in Shanghai offer some hope that the economy can begin to recover from the impact of China’s Covid-19 controls. On Monday, government statisticians reported a drop in industrial production in April as lockdowns shut factories and disrupted logistics and supply chains. The slump in property sales also deepened, while consumers spent less. No vehicles were sold all month in Shanghai, according to the Shanghai Automobile Sales Association….
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(Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal. Photo Credit: Joshua Fernandez on Unsplash)
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