Shanghai finally lifts the citywide lockdown after more than two testing months of despair and economic wounds. The Chinese metropolis has enjoyed the fourth consecutive day of zero new deaths from COVID-19.
After weeks of vacancy, cars have finally swarmed some streets in the financial hub, with joyful residents celebrating their freedom. In a video reported by Jiupai News, vehicles were honking, pedestrians were chanting happily, and fences were being taken down from gates and streets.
Most of Shanghainese were allowed out of their houses as of the morning of June 1. Businesses and offices were reopened, streets were filled with commuters again, and metro and bus services have resumed.
Much to the delight, restrictions and its handicap still remain at some level. According to Bloomberg, about 10% of citizens of the commercial hub still haven’t been able to join the rest and enjoy some movements down the roads.
The heavy toll on operations and production on some companies hasn’t subsided either. Because of supply chain problems, some manufacturing plants are still struggling to resume entirely despite the easing. That includes Tesla Incorporated, Volkswagen AG, and Sony Group Corporation.
Residents may still have to accept PCR tests as a daily routine, as a negative result is a requirement for them in order to leave their compound. Reuters reported that the result may stay valid for 72 hours.
Employees are advised to avoid gathering in rooms, keep some distance while in canteens, and sanitize their keyboards when they are back to offices in low-risk areas. People flow in public venues will need to be maintained at 75% of capacity.
Cafés are back but indoor dining is still forbidden, and restaurants are still largely closed.
The plight for food and income during the lockdown has left a dent in some residents.
Yang Zengdong, a mother of two, told Reuters, “A lot of my friends, people with families and kids, their idea is to buy a bigger fridge or food – they aren’t interested in buying unnecessary stuff right now.”
Yang noted, “I think for most people, this is a time to enjoy being outside but also to protect yourself and protect your money. This is not the time to spend and be wasteful.”
A Shanghai resident wrote in a post that later went viral, “A ridiculous drama is over and no one has come forward to explain, no one has apologized to the lives that were insulted, harmed, and lost, and no one has been held accountable.”
The account said the takeout is back, the crayfish is back, the beer is back, but the sense of security is gone.
The post has now been censored but is archived on China Digital Times.
Sales manager Rocky Lee told CNN, “The measures taken in the past two months have really damaged the reputation of the city and made people realize how poor its governance capacity is. Many companies and investors have lost confidence in Shanghai — and in China in general.”
Lee said he was thinking of leaving Shanghai, questioning if the city could still convince talents to remain after all the blunders that occurred during the lockdown.