Shanghai residents leave home for first time in two weeks as COVID curbs ease


Some residents of Shanghai have been able to leave their homes for the first time in more than two weeks as the city took tentative steps towards easing a COVID-19 lockdown amid mounting worries over the economic impact of the strict curbs.

In a statement by officials, daily infection rates are likely to remain high in the next few days, with Shanghai still struggling to get to grips with the outbreak.

Residents from lower-risk zones known as “prevention areas” are still subject to controls and will have to observe strict social distancing measures, city health official Wu Qianyu said at a press briefing.

On Monday, Shanghai’s total new asymptomatic cases fell 11% from a day earlier to 22,348, with confirmed symptomatic cases rising to 994 from 914. .

Amid concerns about the tough curbs, the US State Department has ordered its non-emergency government workers to leave its consulate in Shanghai.

The figure of 45 cities may even underestimate the full impact of China’s current “zero COVID” policies, with mobility disrupted elsewhere too, it added.

The economic impact has been mixed so far, according to a research report by Cinda Securities, a Chinese brokerage.

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