Shanghai says COVID under 'effective control'

STORY: Shanghai said on Friday (May 6) it has brought China's worst outbreak of COVID-19 under effective control.

That's following a month-long lockdown of nearly 25 million people, with authorities vowing to stand by their "zero-COVID" strategy despite mounting economic costs.

Here's the city's vice major, Wu Qing.

"The number of new COVID infections in the city had been on a continuous downward trend since April 22. However, we can also see that the rate of decline in the number of new positive infections in a single day is still not huge. There are still reports of positive cases in the community, and there is still a risk of a rebound of the epidemic."

Many Shanghai residents are still battling with the strict measures, which are now in their second month.

Some 2.3 million remain sealed off in high-risk areas - and another 16.67 million are in lower risk "prevention zones".

In theory, they can leave their homes and roam around their communities.

However, many residents complain that different community officials are applying the rules in different ways.

Some in "prevention zones" say they are still unable to get out, even though their area hasn't reported a positive cases for weeks.

Meanwhile in Beijing, residents were fretting over the rising number of new cases - and over the possibility of more restrictions on movement.

The capital is racing to avoid an explosion in cases like those in Shanghai.

Finance worker Hu, like others, worries about painful, long-term curbs.

“We will try our best to control the COVID situation, and do our best to cooperate. But I also hope that the government can introduce some policies that will not affect the overall lives of citizens. After all, we have mortgages and car loans, and are under pressure.”

China's leaders have threatened action against critics of their strict zero-COVID policy.

But the country is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world, where COVID restrictions are being abandoned and reliance is being placed on vaccination.

Internationally, industry organizations have complained that China's COVID curbs have global economic reverberations.

The strategy taken by China to fight COVID-19 - mass testing, strict quarantine and sweeping lockdowns - threatens its official growth target of about 5.5% this year.

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