UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Homeland Security

Global Times

Shanghai reopens community, transport resumes as city achieves milestones in anti-COVID fight

Global Times

By Yu Xi and Cui Fandi Published: May 30, 2022 11:11 PM

Shanghai announced on Monday that the city will reopen residential communities, restart public transportation services and allow private vehicles on the roads in an orderly manner starting on Wednesday, following more than two months of lockdown.

Experts reminded the public that in order to prevent a virus resurgence, regular nucleic acid testing must be continued in a timely and efficient manner. This practice remains fundamental in identifying possible transmission sources as soon as possible, they said.

Except for COVID-19 medium- and high-risk regions and areas under lockdown and epidemic control, residents will be allowed to leave their communities freely and use private cars starting on Wednesday, according to the Shanghai municipal government.

Public transportation, including buses and metro services, will be resumed fully. Taxis will also resume normal operation, including online car-hailing services.

Shanghai has achieved significant milestones in its anti-COVID fight, said Li Qiang, the Party secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, at a meeting to coordinate the work of epidemic prevention and economic and social development on Monday. He also stressed the need to adhere to the dynamic zero-COVID policy unwaveringly.

Li vowed to make every effort in carrying out normalized epidemic prevention and control, while fully restoring normal production and people's lives.

Shanghai should not relax routine prevention measures, but at the same time it will speed up the resumption of work, production and business, he said.

Shanghai carried out a staggered lockdown starting on March 28 in Pudong and Puxi in turn, with the majority of residents in the megacity put under lockdown for about two months. Since the city in mid-May set a goal of resuming normal life in June, it has been making preparations to resume business operations and production, as well as residents' daily lives.

The city wants to restart normal life on the one hand but prevent an epidemic resurgence on the other.

"Resuming social life will result in people's gathering and a regular nucleic acid testing mechanism remains fundamental in identifying possible transmission sources as soon as possible, in order to prevent a regional resurgence," Lu Hongzhou, head of Shenzhen's anti-epidemic expert team and head of the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen, told the Global Times on Monday.

Shanghai on Sunday reported fewer than 100 COVID-19 infections. For the megacity, which is gradually recovering, it is important to ensure that the reopening process is truly free from hidden virus transmissions and eliminates hidden sources of infection, a Beijing-based immunologist said on Monday on condition of anonymity.

"In addition, after emerging from lockdown, Shanghai needs to strictly regulate nucleic acid testing facilities to ensure the quality and timeliness of testing. In this way, any potential virus resurgence can be detected in time, and prompt treatment and other actions can follow," the expert said.

The suburban part of Shanghai has accelerated the reopening of public places in recent days. Outdoor stadiums in Jinshan district will open their outdoor sports grounds on Tuesday, and tourist attractions such as the botanical gardens in Songjiang district will be open to the public.

Ferry services will also be restarted, connecting Pudong (east side of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west side). According to local media reports, the Shanghai Ferry Co has welcomed back 320 employees and completed disinfection and sterilization of all ferries and waiting rooms.

Negative results for nucleic acid tests obtained within 72 hours will be required to enter public venues or take public transportation in Shanghai starting from Wednesday.

"After being locked down for about two months, we definitely are excited to hear the news and hope that we can restart work in an orderly manner," a Shanghai resident surnamed Zhou told the Global Times on Monday. But Zhou said she hoped that all work would be resumed gradually and safely in order to prevent any epidemic resurgence.

Some residential communities with no new cases reported have lifted lockdowns for residents under certain conditions and allowed them go out shopping within certain periods. Many Shanghai residents were seen riding outside to enjoy the city's best season.

Some residents even set off fireworks to celebrate the exciting moment.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list