Shanghai, May 29 (BNA): Shanghai on Sunday announced further steps toward a return to greater normalcy and lifted the two-month COVID-19 lockdown this week, while Beijing reopened parts of public transportation, some malls, gyms and other venues. Infections stabilized.
The Chinese mall of 25 million people aims to end the shutdown that has severely damaged the economy from Wednesday and has seen many Shanghainese lose income, struggle to get food and mentally come to terms with prolonged isolation.
The dire restrictions of the coronavirus in major Chinese cities run counter to trends seen in the rest of the world, which have largely moved toward coexistence with the virus even as the infection spreads.
Shanghai, the most populous city in China, will ease testing requirements from Wednesday for people who want to enter public places, said city government spokeswoman Yin Xin, adding that these adjustments should encourage the resumption of work.
“The current epidemic situation in the city continues to stabilize and improve,” Yin said, adding that Shanghai’s strategy “is now centered towards the normalization of prevention and control.”
People entering public places or taking public transportation will need to show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, versus 48 hours before that.
Bus services within Pudong New District, home to Shanghai’s largest airport and major financial district, will fully resume by Monday, officials said.
Plaza 66, the upscale shopping mall in central Shanghai that hosts Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands, reopened on Sunday.
Authorities have been slowly easing restrictions, with an eye on resuming manufacturing.
More people were allowed to leave their apartments, and more businesses were allowed to reopen, though many residents remain largely confined to their apartment complexes, and most shops are limited to delivery.
Authorities agreed to reopen 240 financial institutions in the city from Wednesday, state newspaper Shanghai Securities News reported Sunday, adding to a list of 864 companies released earlier this month. That’s out of nearly 1,700 financial firms in Shanghai.
On Saturday, the newspaper said that more than ten thousand bankers and merchants living and working in their offices since the start of the closure are gradually returning to their homes.
Shanghai has already allowed major manufacturers in the automotive, life sciences, chemicals and semiconductor industries to resume production since late April.