Shanghai reports zero Covid cases for 1st time in months
Zero new Covid-19 infections have been reported in Shanghai on Saturday for the first time since March, after months of virus-spurred lockdowns and restrictions.
For the first time since March, zero new Covid-19 infections were reported in Shanghai today, Saturday, as China's recent outbreak subsides months after lockdowns and restrictions.
Being the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, China was able to put an end to all infections with a package of targeted lockdowns, mass testing, and long quarantine periods.
Beijing closed its schools and businesses for weeks and Shanghai was forced to have a painful 2-month long lockdown due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant this spring; however, with infections slowing to a trickle recently, Shanghai reported zero locally transmitted cases on Saturday for the first time since before the outbreak in March.
"There were no new domestic Covid-19 confirmed cases and no new domestic asymptomatic infections in Shanghai," the city said in a statement.
The lockdown on Shanghai's residents was mostly lifted in early June, but the metropolis has struggled to go back to normal as individual neighborhoods have reimposed restrictions over new cases.
Restrictions imposed in Beijing in the month of May were eased later on as the cases declined; they have tightened again this month after a nightlife-linked infection cluster emerged.
The "Heaven Supermarket infection chain", named after a famous bar that the patients have been to, was effectively blocked, according to Beijing authorities last week.
All elementary and middle school students can go back to their classrooms for in-person learning on Monday, as per the city's education bureau.
On Saturday, Beijing reported only two new infections.
However, China's southern manufacturing powerhouse of Shenzhen said today it would shut wholesale markets, gyms, and cinemas in a central district that borders Hong Kong for three days since Covid cases were detected there.
A zero-Covid policy is insisted on by Chinese officials who believe it is a must to avoid a healthcare disaster, pointing to unevenly distributed medical resources and low vaccination rates among the elderly.