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'Tomorrow will be better,' Shanghai says as it moves closer to reopening COVID

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Shanghai made progress toward a gradual reopening after two months of grueling COVID-19 lockdown, while ...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English -Shanghai made progress toward a gradual reopening after two months of grueling COVID-19 lockdown, while Beijing maintained restrictions that have severely restricted movement even as case numbers fall.

Shanghai intends to lift its curfew as of Wednesday. In the last week, more individuals have been let out of their houses, and more businesses have been allowed to reopen, albeit most inhabitants are still restricted to their housing compounds, and most merchants are only able to make deliveries.

On Saturday, Shanghai officials urged citizens to remain vigilant, despite the fact that the vast majority of the city's 25 million residents live in low-risk "prevention" districts.

"Wear masks in public, don't congregate, and maintain social distance," Zhao Dandan, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said during a regular press briefing.

On social media, videos showed Friday night revellers, many of whom were foreigners, drinking and dancing in the street in a central area of the city before being ordered to leave by police.

Another video showed a group of people on the street singing "Tomorrow Will Be Better," an emotional anthem from 1985, accompanied by a keyboard player. When the cops arrived, they let the song end before telling them to go home, earning them plaudits online for their forbearance.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been confined in often overcrowded central facilities during China's largest and most cosmopolitan city's two-month lockdown, which has frustrated and enraged locals. During the early weeks, many inhabitants were unable to obtain adequate food or medical attention.


While national case numbers are improving, China's rigid devotion to zero-COVID has wreaked havoc on the world's second-largest economy and shook global supply chains, scaring investors concerned about the lack of a plan for exiting what has been President Xi Jinping's signature policy.

High raw material prices and supply chain chaos caused by COVID-19 curbs squeezing margins and disrupting factory activity, according to data released on Friday showing that April profits at industrial firms fell an annual 8.5 percent, the fastest drop in two years, with high raw material prices and supply chain chaos squeezing margins and disrupting factory activity.

The hard-to-contain Omicron variety has posed a challenge to China's policy, which Beijing claims is required to preserve lives and prevent the country's health system from becoming overloaded. Despite the continuous spread of the coronavirus, much of the world is striving to get back to normal.

The struggle between combating COVID and bolstering the economy comes at a politically sensitive time for Xi, who is poised to win an unprecedented third term as leader of the ruling Communist Party at a convention in the autumn.

Premier Li Keqiang acknowledged the sluggish development during an emergency meeting on Wednesday, saying that some economic hardships were worse than in 2020, when China was first hit by COVID-19. Markets are anticipating more stimulus measures as a result of his comments.


The requirement for residents in Shanghai's suburban Fengxian area to get a pass to go out was abolished on Friday.

According to the state-run Shanghai Securities News, the financial industry is gradually returning to normal, with over 10,000 bankers and traders who have been living and working at their offices since the lockdown began gradually going home.

According to the publication, China Citic Bank's Shanghai branch expects to send roughly 30 employees to its office tower by Wednesday, while Bank of Shanghai employees returned to work this week at its headquarters. As of Friday, more than 100 bank branches had reopened, according to the report.

China reported 362 daily coronavirus cases on Saturday, down from 444 the day before. New Friday infections reduced to 24 from 29 in Beijing, which has been under tight restrictions this month.

While officials in Shanghai's Songjiang district reported one community-level case, they expressed confidence in the procedures they were taking to trace and contain the infection chain.

"Don't worry," said Sun Xiaodong, deputy director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "if these measures are applied successfully, we can prevent a comeback of the epidemic even if there are rare cases."

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