As neighbors celebrate their independence and their homes are locked, thousands of Shanghai residents are finding their way out of the lockdown more complicated than the victory announced by China’s state media.
The metropolis, with a population of 25 million, has been closed since the end of March after it became the epicenter of China’s worst covidian outbreak in two years.
After slowly relaxing some rules over the past few weeks, authorities on Wednesday began allowing residents of low-risk areas to roam free again.
But while many celebrated with street parties and shopping, parts of the city were dormant as new infections returned to multiple neighborhood lockdowns on Thursday.
Liu, a 29-year-old woman from Shanghai’s Minhang district, told AFP that the compound in her apartment was quickly recovered after a man in a building returned the results of an “unusual” covid test on Thursday morning.
He said shocked neighbors bombarded the compound’s group chat that the lockdown was “never ending” as many waited at the gate for couriers to deliver laptops left in the office on Wednesday – the first day at their desks.
“Yesterday was just a happy day for me,” Liu said.
The gates of another compound in central Jing’an District were closed Wednesday night after clashes between residents and officials that an AFP reporter saw.
Authorities say more than half a million people are still under movement restrictions, and are quickly rehabilitated whenever a suspected or confirmed infection is found.
Under China’s strict zero-covid method, all positive cases are isolated and close contact – often with the entire building or community where they live – is quarantined.
An employee in Shanghai tried to skirt the rules after an employee created unusual test results. Authorities said in a statement on Thursday that he had taken the worker to a secret dormitory under a suburban overpass before being caught by police.
According to the statement, the manager “was concerned that the company’s activities would be affected.”
The incidents contrasted with the reopening of the winner, portrayed by Chinese state-run media, which aired videos of the celebration on Wednesday showing brightly lit skyscrapers and traffic returning to city streets.
The state-run Xinhua news agency has begun recalling the lockdown, announcing that it will soon release a documentary on the city’s plight, “the great battle to save Shanghai.”
But Eva, a 26-year-old Shanghai resident whose Jinggan compound also re-entered the lockdown on Thursday, found little consolation in the optimistic official statement.
He said he was told Thursday morning that his compound would be re-sealed for two days after a suspicious case was found inside.
“I don’t think this reopening was real in the first place,” he told AFP.
“What if we have more cases? Is it possible that we will be returned in March?”
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)