Shanghai / Beijing:
Shanghai’s health authorities are under intense pressure to avoid Kovid-19 as long as the city is left untouched by a new community, and residents count the days until June 1, ending their disgusting lockdown.
The 25-million-strong commercial center has gained for the fourth day in a row without any new infections in the community, retaining its precious “Zero Covid” status and keeping alive the hope of an imminent end to the lockdown crisis.
Despite no new lawsuits, authorities are not lifting the lockdown immediately, instead gradually easing restrictions until June 1, some shops have been allowed to open this week and public transport is expected to be partially reopened over the weekend.
Very few people get a pass to go out from the volunteer managers of their residential compound.
“The risk of positive transmission still exists within the risk group and … the pressure to prevent a relapse remains huge,” Zhao Dandan of the Municipal Health Commission told reporters Wednesday.
The government of Shanghai’s Juhui District has posted pictures on its social media account of workers planting flower saplings along a large secluded street to ensure a “clean and beautiful” environment for “resumption of work and production in the city”.
In the central district of Changning, large piles of rubbish littered the streets as a sign of how the city struggled to maintain service during the lockdown.
The United States, Europe, and other regions have lifted the “live with the virus” ban and launched their economies as the infection spreads.
China has chosen a radically different path, ruthlessly restricting movement and isolating people to end any outbreak, regardless of economic costs.
Defeating the highly transmissible Omicron variant has proved to be an ups and downs war, as the struggle of the capital Beijing has shown over the past month.
Beijing authorities have been discovering dozens of new cases almost every day since April 22.
Most Beijing residents are working from home, they can at least move around outside, although some have to go, as many shops, gyms and other businesses have closed in several districts.
“I’m glad we’re not home-bound like Shanghai, but we’re still very disappointed with what’s happening, because most countries have already moved on from Kovid,” said Lin Kong, 27, who lives in the central Chawang district. Outbreak
“You never know when you’ll be able to lead a normal life. It’s hard to see my friends in other countries being able to travel and move freely without a mask.”
Lose income and confidence
Overall, Shanghai reported less than 1,000 new cases on May 17, all in areas under strict control, with no new cases found in relatively free communities on the fourth day. Beijing has reported 52 to 69 cases.
China’s uncompromising “zero-covid” policy has placed millions of people in dozens of cities under various restrictions and hampered the global return to production of everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles.
Companies from Apple to Tesla have taken a hit.
E-commerce group JD.com reported better-than-expected earnings as more people shopped online due to the Kovid blockade, but it was cautious about its outlook, saying consumers were losing income and confidence and logistics were disrupted.
Nonetheless, investor sentiment towards JD.com and its counterparts has improved. Vice Premier Liu said in a meeting with tech executives on Tuesday that a regulatory crackdown on the sector was easing.
The unprecedented crackdown, which began in late 2020, has hit Chinese technology companies and roll markets, erased billions of dollars in market value from companies and weighed heavily on the drivers of a significant growth.
However, the more free-wheeling technology sector will not meet the headaches China is facing due to the collapse of the property sector, geopolitics, and rising debt costs in the United States and elsewhere.
This week’s economic data shows that China’s consumption and factory output have been declining at an invisible pace since the beginning of April 2020, as the new coronavirus first detected in the city of Wuhan in late 2019 began to spread worldwide.
Analysts say China could fight for a speedy recovery without compromising its “Zero Covid” policy.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)