The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Shanghai faces ‘huge’ pressure to stay Covid-free as lockdown nears end.

Health authorities in Shanghai faced “huge” pressure to keep China’s most populous city free of Covid-19 as residents were counting down the days until June 1st when their lockdown is set to end after almost two months of isolation.

The commercial hub of 25 million achieved a fourth consecutive day without any new infections in the community, holding on to its prized “zero Covid” status and keeping alive hopes for an imminent end to lockdown misery.

Despite no new cases, authorities are not lifting the lockdown immediately, instead gradually easing restrictions until the start of next month, with some shops allowed to open this week and public transport expected to partly resume over the weekend.

Residents at housing compounds across Shanghai have been given passes that allow one person from each household to go out for a few hours at a time. Some can go out only twice a week and only within a few streets of their home.

To get into a supermarket, they also need a pass from the shop.

“The risk of finding positive infections among risk groups still exists and the pressure of . . . preventing a rebound remains huge,” Zhao Dandan of the municipal health commission told reporters on Wednesday.

As part of the gradual reopening, Shanghai authorities issued a list of 864 financial institutions that can resume work, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Defeating the highly transmissible Omicron variant has proven an uphill battle, as the struggle in the capital, Beijing, over the past month has shown.

Overall, Shanghai reported fewer than 1,000 new cases for May 17th, none from outside quarantined areas. Beijing reported 69 cases, up from 52.

The capital has been discovering dozens of new cases almost every day since April 22nd.

While most Beijing residents are working from home, they can at least wander about outside, albeit with few places to go, as many shops, gyms and other businesses have closed.

“I’m happy that we are not confined at home like in Shanghai but still pretty frustrated at what’s happening, as most of the countries have already moved on from Covid,” said Lin Cong (27) who lives in Beijing’s Chaoyang district.

Poverty

Meanwhile, China’s cash-strapped local governments have been forced to divert funds from poverty alleviation and infrastructure to finance mass coronavirus testing.

An official in the northeastern city of Jilin said authorities had earmarked a “significant” portion of state-backed funds intended to reduce poverty to buy PCR tests, after an outbreak that has infected more than 26,000 people since March.

In the southern industrial hub of Quanzhou, local officials said an ambitious infrastructure investment plan had slowed in part because the authority reallocated funds to testing following an outbreak that has infected more than 3,000 people over the past two months.

The testing mandate could cost up to 1.7 trillion renminbi (€238 billion), or 9 per cent of China’s fiscal income in 2021, per year, according to Dongwu Securities.

The need to fund testing has prompted Quanzhou to scale back its Rmb185 billion infrastructure investment plan this year. The city reported an 8.2 per cent drop in fixed investment in March, compared with a 6.6 per cent increase nationally.

A local official blamed the decline partly on the need to use construction funds on testing. “The central government wants us to eliminate the pandemic and to step up infrastructure construction,” the person said. “We cannot do both and the priority is to create a Covid-free city.”

Local governments “are draining key resources away from economic growth and putting them to testing”, said Andrew Collier, managing director at Orient Capital Research.

“Their economies are going to be in an even worse shape than they already are.”

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022, Additional reporting: Reuters

For this year’s trends, we have gathered some of the classic as well as future features that we believe will be the biggest UX trends in 2022.
Останні новини
Zelensky, Erdogan meet in Lviv

Zelensky, Erdogan meet in Lviv

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday welcomed his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Ukrainian city of Lviv for talks.

UkrInform

Record drought poses serious threat to Europe's environment and critical infrastructure - DW News.

Record drought poses serious threat to Europe's environment and critical infrastructure - DW News.

Around much of the Northern Hemisphere, from Hungary to Hawaii, from the drying Rhine River to the now-recovering Rio Grande, or from Casablanca to California, summer droughts and high temperatures are having a serious impact on everything from ag...

Multiple Victims Wounded In Shooting Outside Of Memphis Hospital.

Multiple Victims Wounded In Shooting Outside Of Memphis Hospital.

At least six people were wounded when gunfire erupted outside of Methodist North Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver ...

3 1

Athlete tells mom he'll play pro Baseball

Athlete tells mom he'll play pro Baseball

After 10 years of playing in the minor leagues, Wynton Bernard will finally be playing Major League Baseball — and both he and his mom broke down in tears when he told her the news.

Rep. Liz Cheney faces off against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman in Wyoming's primary el…

Rep. Liz Cheney faces off against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman in Wyoming's primary el…

Wyoming is one of two states holding primary elections Tuesday, and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney hopes to garner enough of her party's support to defeat Trump-backed opponent Harriet Hageman and keep her U.S. House seat. Early polling shows Cheney t...

State and local officials criticize federal government over monkeypox vaccine rollout.

State and local officials criticize federal government over monkeypox vaccine rollout.

State and local officials raise concern over the national response to monkeypox and vaccine rollout for the virus. Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, an urgent care medical director, joins "CBS News Mornings" with the latest on the virus. CBS News Streaming...

Department of Justice looks to keep Mar-a-Lago search affidavit sealed.

Department of Justice looks to keep Mar-a-Lago search affidavit sealed.

Justice Department officials say sharing details on why Mar-a-Lago was searched would "cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation." CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge joins CBS News ...

1 1