May 17, 2022

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Shanghai hunkers down for final COVID battle, Beijing outbreak stubborn

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SHANGHAI/BEIJING — Shanghai was tightening its COVID-19 lockdown for what it hoped would be the final week of its battle with the virus before it could gradually begin to ease restrictions, while Beijing kept fighting its much smaller but persistent outbreak.

China’s commercial hub of 25 million hoped to come out of its painful six-week-old lockdown later this month. Authorities on Saturday were hoping one last round of tightening would eradicate the last infections of the country’s worst COVID outbreak of the pandemic.

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Many residents of the nation’s most populous city, allowed to leave their housing compounds about a week ago for short walks or quick grocery trips, have more recently received notices to stay indoors for a three-day “silent” period.

Many buildings were told overnight that restriction would be extended until Friday. Going silent usually means residents cannot leave home and, in some cases, it can mean no deliveries.

Linette Lim, who has spent more than 40 days under lockdown, said her community received such a notice on Friday, a day after its official risk levels was lowered to a grade that in theory should have led to looser restrictions.

“It’s very frustrating because everyone has been asked to make sacrifices, to overcome the present difficulties for the collective good, and people have been consistently complying and coping with whatever is thrown at them,” she said.

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“But somehow the goalposts keep shifting,” said Lim. “Nerves are frayed and people have no end goal…

Reuters

2022-05-14 00:08:14

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