© Reuters. Women carry food boxes on a street during the lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The COVID-19-hit Shanghai financial hub will begin allowing more businesses in COVID-free zones to resume normal operations from early June, a deputy mayor said on Thursday. that the city is impatiently awaiting the end of the confinement.
Shanghai, which is battling China’s biggest-ever coronavirus outbreak, is steadily allowing more businesses to reopen and letting more residents leave their homes for the first time in nearly seven weeks.
The city “is striving to achieve a full resumption of work and production as soon as possible,” Deputy Mayor Zhang Wei said at a press briefing.
“The pace of resuming work” would depend on the epidemic prevention situation, he said, adding that for the rest of May, many workers would remain in “closed loops,” which involves often staff living at their place of work.
The stability of Shanghai’s energy, water and information infrastructure throughout the epidemic “ensures that the city’s pulse has the strength to beat after the downturn, and also supports the continued recovery of the economy of the city,” he said.
After nearly two months of disruption, cargo deliveries were gradually returning to normal, Zhang said, with daily container throughput at Shanghai ports now at about 90 percent of levels a year ago.
Pudong Airport’s cargo throughput had reached 70 percent of last year’s levels, while freight vehicles entering and leaving the city were down to two-thirds.
Yu Fulin, an official with Shanghai’s transportation commission, said at the briefing that the city will start restoring major inter-district public transportation on May 22. The priority would be to reopen roads connecting the city’s airports, train stations and hospitals, he said.