Shanghai eases restrictions as Covid infections fall

·2-min read
Volunteers wearing armbands and face masks stand at the gate of a residential community in Shanghai, China (AP)
Volunteers wearing armbands and face masks stand at the gate of a residential community in Shanghai, China (AP)

Shanghai officials have said curbs will be eased following a fall in Covid infections.

Shanghai shut down businesses and confined most of its population to their homes from March 28 after a spike in infections. That led to complaints about lack of access to supplies of food and medicine and fears of starvation.

The lockdown also halted production at thousands of factories, causing disruption to supply chains and weighing down the national and global economy.

But six of its 16 districts have now reached zero-Covid status, meaning three consecutive days with no new daily increases in infections, senior city government official Gu Honghui told a virtual news conference.

As a result, public transport will be allowed to resume in five districts, but residents must remain in their districts as they visit supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals, a health official said.

It comes as the Chinese capital Beijing tightened restrictions on Sunday as it continued to battle a new outbreak.

Dozens of daily infections have been recorded as the latest wave of cases reached its tenth day.

More than 300 locally transmitted cases have been logged since April 22 but the city is yet to lockdown.

The capital has tightened social distancing rules and launched a fresh round of mass testing in its most populous and worst-hit district.

Chaoyang district, accounting for the biggest share of infections in Beijing’s outbreak, launched an additional round of mass testing, with public health workers knocking on doors to remind residents to get tested.

Despite the fall in transmissions, Shanghai will launch a new round of citywide PCR and antigen tests from Sunday until May 7.

Excluding imported cases arriving from outside the mainland, China reported 8,256 new local cases for Saturday, down from 10,703 a day before. Beijing accounted for 59 of the infections, while Shanghai saw 7,872 new cases and all of the nation’s 38 fatalities.

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