SHANGHAI (Reuters) -The COVID-19-hit financial hub of Shanghai will start to allow more businesses in zero-COVID areas to resume normal operations from the beginning of June, a deputy mayor said on Thursday as the city looks forward to the end of lockdown.
Shanghai, fighting China’s biggest ever coronavirus outbreak, has been steadily allowing more businesses to reopen and letting larger numbers of residents leave their homes for the first time in nearly seven weeks.
The city was “striving to achieve a full resumption of work and production as soon as possible”, deputy mayor Zhang Wei told a media briefing.
“The rhythm of work resumption” would be based on the epidemic prevention situation, he said, adding that for the rest of May, many workers would remain in “closed loops”, which often involves staff living at their work places.
Shanghai’s stable energy, water and information infrastructure throughout the outbreak “guarantees that the city’s pulse has the strength to beat after the slowdown, and also supports the continuous recovery of the city’s economy”, he said.
After nearly two months of disruptions, cargo deliveries were gradually returning to normal, Zhang said, with daily container throughput at Shanghai’s ports now at about 90% of levels a year ago.
Pudong Airport cargo throughput had reached 70% of last year’s levels, while freight vehicles entering and leaving the city was back to two thirds.
Yu Fulin, an official with Shanghai’s transportation commission, told the briefing the city would start to restore main cross-district public transport on May 22. The priority would be reopening routes connecting the city’s airports, railway stations and hospitals, he said.
(Reporting by David Stanway, Wang Yifan and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Robert Birsel)