Beijing to reopen schools, Shanghai declares victory over coronavirus

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China is the last major economy still committed to a zero-Covid strategy.

Gulf Today Report

China reported zero new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai for the first time since March on Saturday, as the country’s latest outbreak subsides after months of virus-spurred lockdowns and restrictions.

Beijing on Saturday said it would allow primary and secondary schools to resume in-person classes.


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

Earlier, Shanghai’s top party boss declared victory over COVID-19 after the city reported zero new local cases for the first time in two months.

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A community volunteer disinfects an area before conducting a test for coronavirus in Shanghai. AFP

China is the last major economy still committed to a zero-Covid strategy, stamping out new cases with a combination of targeted lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines.

The economic hub of Shanghai was forced into a months-long lockdown during a Covid surge this spring driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, while the capital Beijing shuttered schools and offices for weeks over a separate outbreak.

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.

Infections narrowed to a trickle in recent days, with Shanghai on Saturday reporting zero locally-transmitted cases for the first time since the start of the outbreak in early March.

 

 

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