May 16, 2022, 12.28 PM

SHANGHAI, KOMPAS.com - Shanghai announced a gradual reopening from Monday of businesses, although it remains unclear when the millions of people still locked down in China’s economic capital will finally be allowed out of their homes.

Confronted with its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic, China -- the last major economy still closed off to the world -- put the city of 25 million under heavy restrictions in early April.

The rigid strategy to root out cases at all costs has wreaked havoc on supply chains, crushed small businesses, and imperiled the country’s economic goals.

For many Shanghai residents, some of whom were already confined to their homes even before April, the frustrations have included problems with food supplies, access to non-Covid medical care, and spartan quarantine centers, and many are venting their anger online.

Also readShanghai Discharges Thousands of Patients, Boosts Covid Supplies

Shanghai Vice Mayor Chen Tong on Sunday, May 15 announced a reopening of businesses “in stages” from May 16.

Chen, however, did not specify if he was referring to a gradual resumption of activity in the city or if it was conditional on certain health criteria.

Under China’s zero-Covid strategy, any lifting of restrictions is generally conditional on seeing no new positive cases for three days, outside of quarantine centers.

Shanghai authorities were aiming for this goal by mid-May.

Infections appear to be on the decline, with 1,369 new cases reported on Sunday in Shanghai, way down from more than 25,000 at the end of April.

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