Shanghai's COVID-19 battle sees big progress

By CAO CHEN (China Daily) 15:04, May 14, 2022

Residents shop at a bakery store in Xuhui district of Shanghai, on May 10, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Shanghai is expected to achieve zero-COVID beyond areas under closed-loop management in mid-May, and will by then ease COVID-19 restrictions while implementing a tiered management system for communities based on their risk levels, local authorities said on Friday.

According to Shanghai's Vice-Mayor Wu Qing, efforts to control the current COVID-19 wave have started to show good results. Despite small fluctuations in daily new infection numbers, over 99 percent of new infections have been identified through testing in closed-loop management zones. In the past three days, only six cases were found in other areas.

"The city now faces a critical transition from epidemic emergency response to a normalized prevention and control mode," Wu said.

Further efforts will be made in epidemic control and prevention in key areas, including old neighborhoods and villages at risk of a resurgence, he added.

"We're drafting an outline to consolidate the results of the prevention and control efforts so far and to prepare for the resumption of work, business and on-campus education and a return to normalcy," Wu said.

Cars will be allowed back on the roads gradually while supermarkets, convenience stores and other types of businesses such as hairdressing will gradually be allowed to operate.

"Students who need to sit exams, especially ninth, 11th and 12th graders in high schools, will be given priority to return to school. More healthcare institutions and government service windows will also be reopened gradually," he added.

Over 9,900 nucleic acid testing sites have been set up and more than 5,700 of them were operational across the city as of Thursday, mainly providing services for residents in precautionary zones and people who have resumed work, Wu said.

Shanghai reported 227 new locally transmitted COVID-19 confirmed cases, 1,869 asymptomatic infections and two deaths on Thursday. The two who died were aged 88 and 89.

"Given the large aging population that is vulnerable to the virus, vaccination acts as one of the most effective means to protect the elderly and we must promptly accelerate the vaccination of this group of people," said Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

Shanghai administered around 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines between May 1 and 11, with about half of these given to people aged 60 and above, according to Zhao.

(Web editor: Meng Bin, Bianji)


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