News ID: 102679
Publish Date : 17 May 2022 - 22:03

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) -- Shanghai achieved its long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones on Tuesday but most residents will have to put up with confinement for a while longer before resuming more normal life.
For other cities in China that have been under lockdown, three days with no new cases in the community usually means “zero COVID” status and the beginning of the lifting of restrictions.
The commercial hub of 25 million set out on Monday its clearest timetable yet for exiting a lockdown now in its seventh week, but the plan was met with scepticism by many residents who have seen isolation extended time and again.
“Normality is very far away,” said one Shanghai resident still stuck at home.
Shanghai plans to resume outdoor activities in stages, with some shops reopening this week, but with most restrictions on movement remaining in place until May 21, after which public transport and other services will resume gradually.
By June, the lockdown should be lifted, but residents will still be asked to get tested frequently.
More people were allowed out of their homes this week, with some joggers and dog walkers spotted. One man was seen fishing in a Shanghai creek.
Overall, Shanghai reported fewer than 1,000 new cases for May 16, all in areas under the strictest controls.
China’s state planner said on Tuesday it would strengthen support for manufacturers, the service sector and small firms to mitigate COVID’s impact.
A meeting convened by China’s top political consultative body with tech executives was also being closely watched for signs of any easing of a regulatory crackdown on the sector that has weighed on growth.
Chinese shares closed higher on bets for looser regulatory scrutiny on the tech sector and Shanghai’s progress on COVID.
Beijing’s latest daily case count was 52, with authorities discovering a few dozen new infections on an almost daily basis despite gradually tightening restrictions over the past three weeks or so.

* Comment: