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Shanghai lifts lockdown after 65 days

Posted June. 02, 2022 07:41,   

Updated June. 02, 2022 07:41


Shanghai reopened at 12 a.m. on Wednesday after the city was put under lockdown on March 28 to slow down the spread of COVID-19. The citizens who are now allowed to freely walk on the streets and use the public transportation and stores welcomed it, saying Shanghai had returned. However, it is predicted to take some time for the city to return to normal as a long lockdown had a significant impact on its economy.

The Shanghai authorities allowed the free movement of 22 million citizens, except for three million residents of high-risk or medium-risk areas. Restrictions on cars and motorcycles were removed. The operation of the public transportation, such as busses and subways, is back to the pre-lockdown level, and taxis and shared cars are allowed to operate again. Offices, plants, and stores reopened. COVID-19 infections have also slowed down in the city. The number of daily new patients, which reached 30,000 in April, decreased to 29 on Tuesday.

Citizens came out to Waitan, a popular waterfront district near the Huangpu River, and enjoyed freedom by taking pictures and flying drones. Cars passing by also honked in celebration. Chinese media, including The Paper, reported on how the citizens felt being back on the streets after two months. “Even though the lockdown lasted for a long time, I had a faith that Shanghai would stand tall again,” said Wang Hao who works in an office.

However, as the economy of Shanghai, a megacity with a 25 million population, has been completely suspended and other large cities, such as Beijing and Shenzhen, were put under lockdown, China’s retail sales and industrial production growth recorded -11.1 percent and -2.9 percent, respectively. It will take quite a long time for economic normalization.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com