More work to resume in Shanghai’s zero-Covid-19 areas from June as new cases dip

Beijing reported 50 new symptomatic coronavirus cases for May 18, down from 52 a day earlier. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (REUTERS) - The Covid-19-hit financial hub of Shanghai will start to allow more businesses in zero-Covid areas to resume normal operations from the beginning of June, a deputy mayor said on Thursday (May 19) as the city looks forward to the end of lockdown.  

Shanghai, fighting China’s biggest ever coronavirus outbreak, has been steadily allowing more businesses to reopen and letting larger numbers of residents leave their homes for the first time in nearly seven weeks.  

The city was "striving to achieve a full resumption of work and production as soon as possible", deputy mayor Zhang Wei told a media briefing.  

"The rhythm of work resumption" would be based on the epidemic prevention situation, he said, adding that for the rest of May, many workers would remain in "closed loops", which often involves staff living at their work places.  

This comes as Shanghai reported 637 new local asymptomatic coronavirus cases for Wednesday, down from 759 a day earlier.

Confirmed symptomatic cases fell to 82 from 96 the previous day, the city's government said in a statement.

There were zero cases found outside quarantined areas, the fifth consecutive day of no such cases.

The city reported one new Covid-19 related death, compared with three on Tuesday.

Shanghai’s stable energy, water and information infrastructure throughout the outbreak "guarantees that the city’s pulse has the strength to beat after the slowdown, and also supports the continuous recovery of the city’s economy", Mr Zhang said.  

After nearly two months of disruptions, cargo deliveries were gradually returning to normal, Mr Zhang said, with daily container throughput at Shanghai’s ports now at about 90 per cent of levels a year ago.

Pudong Airport cargo throughput had reached 70 per cent of last year’s levels, while freight vehicles entering and leaving the city was back to two thirds.  

Mr Yu Fulin, an official with Shanghai’s transportation commission, told the briefing the city would start to restore main cross-district public transport on May 22.

The priority would be reopening routes connecting the city’s airports, railway stations and hospitals, he said.  

Meanwhile in the capital Beijing, authorities reported 50 new symptomatic coronavirus cases for May 18, down from 52 a day earlier, state media reported on Thursday.

The city also reported five asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 for Wednesday, down from 17 on Tuesday.

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