Beijing and Shanghai ease COVID restrictions as outbreaks fade
Shoppers returned to the malls of Beijing on Sunday as the Chinese capital relaxed pandemic restrictions after declaring a small but persistent COVID-19 outbreak effectively under control.
A partial reopening of stores and offices in Beijing was welcomed by weary residents and struggling shopkeepers eager for life to return to normal, The Associated Press reported.
Coupled with a gradual easing of restrictions in Shanghai, it signaled that the worst is over in the twin outbreaks in China’s most prominent cities.
The lockdowns and other restrictions under China’s “zero-COVID” strategy have increasingly frustrated residents as they saw other countries ease curbs and reopen their borders, AP reported.
Some have resisted and staged protests at apartment complexes and university dormitories, in an authoritarian country where people think twice about speaking out publicly because of possible repercussions.
Restaurants remain closed in Beijing, except for takeaways and deliveries, and many people in Shanghai can still only go out with special passes and for a limited time period, even as the number of new cases has plummeted.
China recorded 293 new cases on Saturday, of which 78 were among people who had arrived from overseas. Shanghai had the most non-imported cases, with 122 and Beijing 21 among a population of more than 20 million people in both cities.
Beijing allowed public parks, gyms and cinemas to reopen on Sunday, all at 50 percent of their capacity. A portion of the Great Wall in a rural part of Beijing, about 60km from the city center, reopens to visitors on Monday.
City spokesman Xu Hejian said on Saturday that sporadic cases are still being found in some districts, but they are within a controllable range, AP reported.
“This round of outbreak has been put under effective control,” he said.The post Beijing and Shanghai ease COVID restrictions as outbreaks fade first appeared on Ariana News.
Source: Ariana News