Shanghai city chiefs began work on reopening its transport network on Saturday as they moved closer to ending their weeks-long Covid shutdown.
Workers in Shanghai were disinfecting subway stations and trains before a planned restoration of four metro lines on Sunday. More than 200 bus routes will also reopen.
But signs of Shanghai’s reopening came as capital Beijing strains to keep a lid on infections and avoid the hugely damaging lockdowns its southern neighbour has been forced to impose.
Shanghai’s lockdown since the beginning of April has dealt a heavy economic blow to China’s most populous city, stirred debate over the sustainability of the nation’s zero-Covid policy and stoked fears of future lockdowns and disruptions.
Unlike the financial hub, Beijing has avoided imposing a city-wide lockdown, reporting dozens of new cases a day, versus tens of thousands in Shanghai at its peak. Still, the curbs and endless mass testing imposed on China’s capital have unsettled its economy and upended the lives of its people.
Underlining the level of caution, Shanghai officials said commuters would be scanned for abnormally high body temperatures and would need to show negative results of PCR tests taken within 48 hours.
Shanghai found 868 new local cases on Friday, compared with 858 a day earlier, municipal health authorities said on Saturday, a far cry from the peak in daily caseloads last month.
No new cases were found outside quarantined areas, down from three a day earlier, health authorities added.
Delta Airlines Resumes Flight
The city of 25 million has gradually reopened shopping malls, convenience stores and wholesale markets and allowed more people to walk out of their homes, with community transmissions largely eliminated in recent days.
Still, Shanghai tightened stringent curbs on two of its 16 districts on Friday.
Delta Airlines said on Friday it would resume one daily flight to Detroit from Shanghai via Seoul on Wednesday.
Most of Beijing’s recent cases have been in areas already sealed up, but authorities remained on edge and quick to act under China’s ultra-strict policy.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara