- Shanghai lockdown fences, police remove tape
- Lockdown ends at midnight two months later
- Many are wary of catching the cove, another lockdown danger
SHANGHAI, May 31 (Reuters) – Shanghai authorities on Tuesday began tearing down public squares and buildings with police tape, removing fences around residential areas before removing a two-month lock at midnight in China’s largest city.
On Monday evening, some were allowed to leave their campuses for a short walk, gathering to eat beer and ice cream on deserted streets using paused traffic. But there was a sense of alarm and concern among residents.
Joseph Mack, who works in education, said, “I feel a little nervous. “It’s hard to believe this is really happening.”
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Most are paralyzed at home again until midnight because they have suffered income losses under the strictly enforced Lockdown for the past two months and frustration for people struggling to get food or emergency medical care.
Prolonged isolation has provoked public outrage and rare protests within the city of 25 million people, disrupting its production and export-oriented economy, disrupting supply chains in China and around the world, and slowing international trade.
Passes provided by residential buildings for people to go out for a few hours will be removed, public transport will resume and residents will be able to go to work, with life returning to normal from Wednesday.
“This is a day we have dreamed of for a long time,” Yin Chin, a spokesman for the Shanghai government, told reporters.
“Everyone has made a lot of sacrifices. This day has been won hard, and we must cherish it and welcome back to our familiar and missed Shanghai.”
On Tuesday in a creek in Shanghai, a marinade duck was refilling the shelves at the store, a bar was being refurbished at the last minute, and cleaners were sweeping the shop windows.
Barriers will be eased to about 22.5 million people in low-risk areas. Residents should still wear masks and avoid crowds. Eating inside restaurants is prohibited. Stores can operate at 75% efficiency. Gyms will reopen later. read more
Residents must check every 72 hours to use public transportation and to enter public places. There is still severe isolation for those suffering from Govt disease and their close contacts.
China stands alone among the key countries implementing the “zero COVID” policy of eliminating explosions at any cost.
Julian McCormick, president of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, said Shanghai had brought COVID under control “at a very significant personal and economic cost.”
“What has changed to ensure that this does not happen again?” He asked. “There is uncertainty.”
Todd Pearson, managing director of the Camel Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants, bars and gyms in and around Shanghai, is cautious.
His restaurants can only make deliveries, which brings in 5% of the revenue, not enough for salaries and rent. His workers, who have been sleeping on the site since at least midnight, can finally go home.
“I hope they will be in a hurry to restart the economy,” Pearson said. “I hope it’s not at the cost of more explosions. I do not know if many businesses or people can handle more.”
Economic activity in China has recovered somewhat since a bad April in May as COVID sanctions on production centers have been gradually eased, although movement restrictions have curbed demand and production. read more
Fun with flags
Shanghai recorded 31 cases as of May 30, up from 67 a day earlier, reflecting a drop across China to less than 200 infections nationwide.
Shanghai’s Lockdown decision does not mean a return to pre – Govt lifestyle.
Some bank clerks have been told to wear full Hazmat clothes and face shields when they start confronting the public from Wednesday. Someone said that if a co-worker had a positive test and the staff had to be isolated in the office, they would take some basic items to work.
The city’s handling of the locks provoked rare protests, with people sometimes smashing pots and pans outside their windows to show their displeasure.
“The government of Shanghai must issue a public apology to gain the understanding and support of the people of Shanghai and to repair the damaged relationship between the government and the people,” said Gu Weikuo, a professor at Futan University’s School of Foreign Languages. Posted on WeChat.
President Xi Jinping, who is expected to take over the third presidency this fall, has come under fire in a crucial year.
Before reopening, a compound Chinese flag was hung for residents to photograph while queuing for a further PCR test.
“It’s worth celebrating,” said one volunteer at the test site, who was more optimistic about COVID than those who wiped their noses. “Maybe we won’t get it back for the rest of our lives.”
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Additional reporting by David Stanway, Vinnie Cho, Brenda Ko, Yifan Wang, David Girton, Alby Zhang, Stella Q and the Beijing and Shanghai consoles; Written by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Michael Perry and Angus Maxwan
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