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Shanghai reopens some public transport, still on high COVID alert -Breaking

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© Reuters. One of our staff members stands in protective attire on a platform at a city subway station. It was the first day that subway service in the area had been restored after the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai (China), May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Brenda Goh

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Brenda Goh, Martin Quin Pollard

SHANGHAI/BEIJING – Shanghai reopened a part of the world’s longest subway on Sunday. Some lines had been shut down for more than two months. The city is paving the way to a complete lift of COVID-19’s painful lockdown starting next week.

Most residents were not allowed out of their homes, and some restrictions became more restrictive in China’s biggest city. This gave commuters strong reasons to travel on Sunday.

Shanghai’s restrictions and curtailing in other cities has affected consumption, production, and other areas of the Chinese economy over recent months. This led to pledges from policymakers for support.

Blue protective outfits were worn by many who ventured outside the commercial hub. Passengers kept some spare seats among themselves in carriages. The crowds were very small.

Xu Jihua was a migrant contractor who arrived at a subway station before it opened at 7 a.m. in hopes of getting to a train station to take her to Anhui.

“Work stopped March 16,” said Xu. He added that he hadn’t been able earn his monthly 7,000 to8,000 yuan ($1,000-1100) salary and would return to Shanghai only if he felt certain he could find employment.

“Is the lockdown lifting? It isn’t very clear.

One woman asked to only be identified as Li and stated that she wanted to see her father at 8km (5 miles) distance from her home.

Li stated, “I am going to the hearthospital. But I don’t know if there will be cars or transportation once I reach the railway station.” “I may have to walk there.”

4 of 20 bus lines were reopened and 273 routes. Some lines had been closed by March 31, while others were shut down later. However, sporadic service was maintained with only a few stops.

A city of 25 millions expects to ease its restrictions on movement and return to normalcy starting in June 1. These restrictions are likely to remain in force for the remainder of June.

According to latest statistics, Shanghai’s metro network of 800 km travelled 7.7 million times per day over the course of 2020. This is compared with a total annual throughput in Shanghai at 2.8 billion.

For a limited time, trains will be running 20 minutes apart. Commuters will need to scan their bodies at the entry and present negative results from PCR tests within 48 hours.

UNEXPLAINED CURBS

Shanghai slowly reopened wholesale and convenience markets. This has allowed people to move out of their homes with a lot less community transmissions.

However, some parts of the city recently increased their curbs. This explains why it is difficult to resume normal life in China under its zero-COVID policy. It has become increasingly out of step with the rest.

Jingan is a major commercial area. It announced on Saturday that all shops will be closed and residents must stay at home for mass testing.

Authorities said that without citing a reason, exit permits which were previously granted to residents to allow them to walk short distances from their home will now be suspended.

Similar steps were taken in Hongkou’s district on Friday and Zhaoxiang, Qingpu’s Zhaoxiang on Saturday. They announced similar actions to consolidate the epidemic prevention results so far.

Shanghai had fewer than 700 reported cases each day on Sunday. Not surprisingly, they were not in quarantined zones, which has been the norm for the majority of the week. Beijing had 61 reported cases, compared to 70 in the capital.

Since April 22nd, Beijing is gradually increasing restrictions. Many shops have been closed and public transportation has been curtailed. Residents are asked to work at home. However, it is still struggling to stop the spread of many new infections every day.

CCTV reported that Tianjin (a major northeastern port) found 36 more cases on Saturday.

Friday’s announcement by regulators was that they are streamlining the procedure for company-hit by the pandemic to issue equity or bonds. Fund managers and brokerages were urged by regulators to funnel more money into sectors affected by the virus.

($1 = 6.6921 renminbi)

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