Covid: Beijing and Shanghai back at zero cases after four months

Shanghai, China Updated: Jun 30, 2022, 08:03 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the Omicron wave from March to May, with Shanghai imposing a two-month-long city-wide lockdown that lifted on June 1.
 

China reported zero new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai and Beijing for the first time since March on Thursday, as the country's latest outbreak subsides after months of lockdowns and other restrictions.

The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the Omicron wave from March to May, with Shanghai imposing a two-month-long city-wide lockdown that lifted on June 1.

The efforts, part of China's adherence to a zero-COVID policy that aims to eradicate all outbreaks, have brought case numbers down but many of the heavy-handed measures have fuelled anger and even rare protests and taken a heavy toll on the economy.

Beijing shut its schools in early May and asked students to move to online learning amid a spike in locally transmitted COVID cases. Senior year students at middle and high schools were allowed to return to classrooms from June 2. 

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports said separately that sports activities for the young can resume at non-school locations on June 27 in areas where no community cases have been reported for seven consecutive days, with the exception of basement venues, which will remain shut.

The Universal Beijing Resort, which had been closed for nearly two months, reopened on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Shanghai reported no new local cases - both symptomatic and asymptomatic - for June 24, the first time the Chinese economic hub had done so since Feb. 23.

As reported by Reuters, Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang said at the opening of the city's party congress on Saturday that authorities had "won the war to defend Shanghai" against COVID by implementing the instructions of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that Beijing's epidemic prevention decisions were "completely correct". 

Also Read: Lufthansa airline bringing back A380 superjumbo, costly but in demand

The city, however, remains on edge. Most students have not been allowed to resume in-person classes and dining indoors is still banned. It also plans to continue conducting mass PCR testing for its 25 million residents every weekend until the end of July, as reported by Reuters.

And underscoring continued difficulties in stamping out Omicron, the southern city of Shenzhen, which implemented a week-long lockdown in March, said on Saturday it would shut all cinemas and parks as well as suspend public events in the Futian district after six local cases were discovered there on Friday. 

The city also now requires residents to show a negative COVID-19 test to enter public venues taken within the last 24 hours, shortened from 48 hours previously, which in essence requires people to test daily to enter places such as malls or take public transport.

(with inputs from agencies)
 

WATCH WION LIVE HERE

You can now write for wionews.com and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.

Read in App