Shanghai's streets hum to life as COVID lockdown lifts

STORY: Most of Shanghai's 25 million residents can now freely leave home, return to work, shop for fresh groceries, drive their cars and use public transport.

"I felt extra happy when I left home for work today. We were stuck at home for two whole months, as our lockdown started April 1,” Ma Xiang told Reuters while she waited for a bus.

But others are feeling the toll of the challenges the city's people faced during that time.

"Things like losing jobs and family members because of the pandemic in the past two months have been forgotten in this split second. Actually I feel sad deep inside," Yang Zhongwei said.

During the lockdown, numerous residents of the country's key financial and economic hub struggled to get enough food or medical care. Families were separated and hundreds of thousands were forced into centralised quarantine facilities.

Residents now have to test every 72 hours to take public transport and enter public venues, heralding what may become a "new normal" in many Chinese cities. Those testing positive, and their close contacts, still face onerous quarantines.

Shanghai's ordeal has come to symbolize what critics call China's unsustainable adherence to a zero-COVID policy that aims to cut off every infection chain, at any cost, even as much of the world tries to return to normal despite ongoing infections.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting