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Shanghai to lift lockdown in some areas despite rise in COVID-19 infections

SHANGHAI (CNA) – Authorities in Shanghai said they would start lifting the lockdown in some areas from yesterday, despite reporting over 25,000 new COVID-19 infections, as they strive to get the city moving again after more than two weeks.

Shanghai classed residential units into three risk categories, to allow those in areas without positive cases for a stretch of two weeks to engage in “appropriate activity” in their neighbourhoods, city official Gu Honghui said.

“Each district will announce the specific names of the first batch (of communities) divided into the three types, and three subsequent lists will be announced in a timely manner,” he told a news briefing.

That promises relief for some of the city’s 25 million residents, many of whom struggled to find food and medicine after over three weeks locked down in the battle on China’s biggest outbreak since coronavirus was first discovered in central Wuhan in late 2019.

Gu said Shanghai divided the city into 7,624 areas that are still sealed off, a group of 2,460 now subject to “controls” after a week of no new infections, and 7,565 “prevention areas” that will be opened up after two weeks without a positive case.

Those living in “prevention areas”, though able to move around their neighbourhoods, must observe social distancing and could find themselves sealed off again if there are new infections, he said.

Shanghai added 25,173 new asymptomatic infections on Sunday, up from 23,937 the previous day, although symptomatic cases edged down to 914 from 1,006.

Residents line up for mass COVID testing in Shanghai. PHOTO: AP