The Chines city of Shanghai has managed to reach a much awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new cases of COVID-19 outside the quarantine zones. Despite the achievement, the residents will have to continue to put up with confinement or will have to wait for a longer period to get back to a normal life.

Talking about the other cities in China that continue to be under lockdown, a third day with no new COVID-19 cases would have a ‘zero COVID’ status and that will mark the beginning of lifting of the restrictions. Shanghai, which has a population of nearly 25 million has set out a clear timetable for making an exit from the lockdown on May 16, 2022. But a number of residents remained skeptical as they have been in isolation for an extended time. The city authorities have planned to begin outdoor activities in phases. This week the pharmacies and convenience stores would be reopening.

However, the majority of the restrictions would continue to remain in place at least until May 21, 2022. Public transport and other services are expected to resume only after May 21 and that too on a gradual basis. By the month of June, the lockdown is likely to be lifted, but the residents of the city would still need to be tested frequently. This week, more people were allowed to be out of their homes. There were a few joggers and dog walkers outside as the restrictions eased. For now it is not clear as to how many shops would be opened this week but the delivery apps have indicated a slowdown in demand for the services on May 17, 2022.

One of the social media accounts that is run by the official People’s Daily newspaper of the Community Party, posted pictures from May 16, 2022 that had shown restaurants, breakfast joints and hairdressers opening up their establishments. But a few social media users had denied that the pictures were real.

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