Chengdu eases lockdown curbs in parts of city as cases taper

Seven districts which have had no new community cases will see life start to return to normal. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

CHENGDU - Two weeks after the Chinese megacity of Chengdu was locked down, the city said it had controlled the spread of Covid-19 and would start easing the lockdown in parts of the city.

Starting Thursday noon, seven districts which have no new cases found in the community will see life gradually return to normal, the municipal government said in a statement late on Wednesday.

People living in those districts who have tested negative for Covid in the previous 24 hours will be allowed to return to work, while transport hubs, grocery stores and supermarkets will reopen.

Dine-in services at restaurants will also resume, but indoor entertainment venues and schools will stay closed.

Six other districts will remain under lockdown and undergo another round of mass testing on Thursday, the statement said.

The unwinding of restrictions came as infections tapered off, with only 35 new cases reported Tuesday in the city of 21 million people.

Chengdu is the biggest Chinese urban centre to go into lockdown since Shanghai was sealed off for two months in the spring.

There's been fewer than a thousand new cases reported nationwide for the last three days, but authorities are tightening their controls in an effort to quash flareups across the country ahead of the Communist Party congress which begins in Beijing in about a month.

At that meeting, President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term in office as China's top leader. BLOOMBERG

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