Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Shanghai moves toward ending 2-month COVID-19 lockdown

  133
An elderly resident in a wheelchair waits under an umbrella as other elderly residents line up outside a bank to collect their pension as banking serv...
Two women chat as residents line up for mass COVID test, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Elderly residents line up to collect their pension as banking services reopen after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Be...
Elderly residents wait in line to collect their pension as banking services reopen after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, ...
Delivery men sort out their parcels outside a community on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
An elderly resident waits outside a bank as bank workers receive food supplies as banking services reopen after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, ...
Employees wearing face masks wait to have their COVID-19 test results checked to enter an office building in the central business district in Beijing,...
Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shanghai authorities say they...
Employees wearing face masks wait to have their COVID-19 test results checked to enter an office building in the central business district in Beijing,...
Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shanghai authorities say they...
Commuters wearing face masks walk past a recently reopened subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shanghai...
Commuters wearing face masks walk down steps at a recently reopened subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022....
Commuters wearing face masks walk out of a recently reopened subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shangh...
Residents wearing face masks walk through a public park which reopened after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. ...
Delivery workers wearing face masks collect orders from the restaurant which reopened for takeaway-only service in a shopping mall after the pandemic ...
People eat foods on a bench outside the restaurants which reopened for takeaway-only service Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing.  The shopping mall reo...
People wearing face masks walk by women eating foods outside the restaurants in a shopping mall after pandemic measure lockdown were lifted, Tuesday, ...
A woman wearing a face mask walks by a barricaded gym equipments area to prevent residents gathering at a public park Tuesday, May 31, 2022 in Beijing...
A woman wearing a face mask watches masked children play on a gym equipment at a public park which reopened after pandemic measure lockdown were lifte...
A worker in protective gear watches a barber cuts a resident's hair Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities say they will take...
A woman wearing a face shield and mask walks by shophouses barricaded with caution tape Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authoritie...
A worker rides a cart loaded with paper boxes passing by residents at a shop that reopened after a pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May ...
A woman rides past a shop which reopened after a pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities...
Barbers wearing face masks cut clients hair outside a cafe, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities say they will take some ma...
Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in a popular shopping street Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities say ...
A woman takes photos near the Oriental Pearl Tower on the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major step...
Chinese men wait outside the train station, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward r...
A worker disinfects her hands before performing sampling at a COVID test site, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will ...
Residents walk near the Oriental Pearl Tower, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward...
A man and a child wear masks as they take a ride near the Oriental Pearl Tower along the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authoritie...
Residents walk near the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward reopening China...
Residents gather near the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward reopening Chi...
Residents walk near a COVID test sampling site, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday towa...
A resident wearing mask takes photos near the Oriental Pearl Tower along the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they w...
Residents gather on the street near the Oriental Pearl Tower on the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take ...

An elderly resident in a wheelchair waits under an umbrella as other elderly residents line up outside a bank to collect their pension as banking serv...

Two women chat as residents line up for mass COVID test, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Elderly residents line up to collect their pension as banking services reopen after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Be...

Elderly residents wait in line to collect their pension as banking services reopen after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, ...

Delivery men sort out their parcels outside a community on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

An elderly resident waits outside a bank as bank workers receive food supplies as banking services reopen after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, ...

Employees wearing face masks wait to have their COVID-19 test results checked to enter an office building in the central business district in Beijing,...

Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shanghai authorities say they...

Employees wearing face masks wait to have their COVID-19 test results checked to enter an office building in the central business district in Beijing,...

Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shanghai authorities say they...

Commuters wearing face masks walk past a recently reopened subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shanghai...

Commuters wearing face masks walk down steps at a recently reopened subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022....

Commuters wearing face masks walk out of a recently reopened subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Shangh...

Residents wearing face masks walk through a public park which reopened after pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. ...

Delivery workers wearing face masks collect orders from the restaurant which reopened for takeaway-only service in a shopping mall after the pandemic ...

People eat foods on a bench outside the restaurants which reopened for takeaway-only service Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Beijing. The shopping mall reo...

People wearing face masks walk by women eating foods outside the restaurants in a shopping mall after pandemic measure lockdown were lifted, Tuesday, ...

A woman wearing a face mask walks by a barricaded gym equipments area to prevent residents gathering at a public park Tuesday, May 31, 2022 in Beijing...

A woman wearing a face mask watches masked children play on a gym equipment at a public park which reopened after pandemic measure lockdown were lifte...

A worker in protective gear watches a barber cuts a resident's hair Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities say they will take...

A woman wearing a face shield and mask walks by shophouses barricaded with caution tape Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authoritie...

A worker rides a cart loaded with paper boxes passing by residents at a shop that reopened after a pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May ...

A woman rides past a shop which reopened after a pandemic measure lockdown are lifted, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities...

Barbers wearing face masks cut clients hair outside a cafe, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities say they will take some ma...

Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in a popular shopping street Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai authorities say ...

A woman takes photos near the Oriental Pearl Tower on the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major step...

Chinese men wait outside the train station, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward r...

A worker disinfects her hands before performing sampling at a COVID test site, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will ...

Residents walk near the Oriental Pearl Tower, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward...

A man and a child wear masks as they take a ride near the Oriental Pearl Tower along the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authoritie...

Residents walk near the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward reopening China...

Residents gather near the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward reopening Chi...

Residents walk near a COVID test sampling site, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday towa...

A resident wearing mask takes photos near the Oriental Pearl Tower along the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they w...

Residents gather on the street near the Oriental Pearl Tower on the bund, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities say they will take ...

SHANGHAI (AP) — Shanghai authorities say they will take major steps Wednesday toward reopening China's largest city after a two-month COVID-19 lockdown that has set back the national economy and largely confined millions of people to their homes.

Already, a steady stream of people strolled in the Bund, the city's historic waterfront park, on a pleasant Tuesday night, some taking selfies against the bright lights of the Pudong financial district on the other side of the river. Elsewhere, people gathered outside to eat and drink under the watch of police deployed to discourage large crowds from forming.

Lu Kexin, a high school senior visiting the Bund for the first time since late March, said she went crazy being trapped at home for so long. “I’m very happy, extremely happy, all the way, too happy," she said. “I could die."

Vice Mayor Zong Ming announced that full bus and subway service will be restored on Wednesday, as will basic rail connections with the rest of China. Schools will partially reopen on a voluntary basis, and shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores will reopen gradually at no more than 75% of their total capacity. Cinemas and gyms will remain closed.

"The epidemic has been effectively controlled,” Zong said. She added that the city will enter the phase of fully restoring work and life on Wednesday.

Officials, who set June 1 as the target date for reopening earlier in May, appear ready to accelerate what has been a gradual easing in recent days. A few malls and markets have reopened, and some residents have been given passes allowing them out for a few hours at a time. In online chat groups, some expressed excitement about the prospect of being able to move about freely in the city for the first time since the end of March, while others remained cautious given the slow pace and stop-and-go nature of opening up so far.

Workers took down some of the barriers that had been erected along sidewalks during the lockdown. A few people walked or biked on the still mostly empty streets. One man got his hair cut on the sidewalk, a common sight in recent days, as a worker or volunteer in full protective clothing looked on.

The most difficult part of the lockdown was psychological, said Cao Yue, who has worked in Shanghai for five years. She recalled the early days when it was difficult to buy food and she didn't know what to do. "It was quite depressing to be locked at home and see the whole Shanghai under lockdown,” she said.

More than half a million people in the city of 25 million won't be allowed out Wednesday — 190,000 who are still in lockdown areas and another 450,000 who are in control zones because they live near recent cases.

Shanghai recorded 29 new cases on Monday, continuing a steady decline from more than 20,000 a day in April. Li Qiang, the top official from China's ruling Communist Party in Shanghai, was quoted as saying at a meeting Monday that the city had made major achievements in fighting the outbreak through continuous struggle.

The success came at a price. Authorities imposed a suffocating citywide lockdown under China's “zero-COVID” strategy that aims to snuff out any outbreak with mass testing and isolation at centralized facilities of anyone who is infected.

Huge temporary facilities were set up in exhibition centers and other venues to house thousands of people who had tested positive. Teams of health care and other workers flew in from around the country to help run the massive undertaking.

Factories were shuttered, or were allowed to operate only if workers slept on site to prevent the spread of the virus. Reduced production at semiconductor plants added to the global chip shortage. Containers backed up at the port of Shanghai because of a shortage of truck drivers to deliver them to their destinations.

Though it all, leaders of the ruling Communist Party repeatedly expressed a determination to stick to the “zero-COVID” policy even as other countries have opened their borders and are trying to “live with the virus.” Outside economists widely expect China to fall short of its 5.5% growth target for this year.

However, the latest economic data showed that Chinese manufacturing activity started to rebound in May as the government rolled back some containment measures.

Schools will reopen for the final two years of high school and the third year of middle school, but students can decide whether to attend in person. Other grades and kindergarten remain closed.

Outdoor tourist sites will start reopening Wednesday, with indoor sites set to follow in late June, the Shanghai tourism authority said. Group tours from other provinces will be allowed again when the city has eliminated all high- and medium-risk pandemic zones.

Beijing, the nation's capital, further eased restrictions Tuesday in some districts. The city imposed limited lockdowns, but nothing near a citywide level, in a much smaller outbreak that appears to be on the wane. Beijing recorded 18 new cases on Monday.

___

Moritsugu reported from Beijing. Associated Press researchers Si Chen in Shanghai and Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.