June 1, 2022
It feels like I’ve finished serving my prison sentence.Shanghai resident Shang Bin as China’s largest city lifted its strict two-month COVID lockdown on Wednesday.
- Why It Matters: Shanghai, whose population is 25 million (roughly 3 times the size of New York City, the U.S’s largest city by population), is China’s largest city and has been under a strict “zero-tolerance COVID policy” since March. Residents were required to stay home, undergo mass testing, and/or isolate. Meanwhile, city officials faced strong backlash from the public throughout the lockdown while health officials and analysts around the world questioned the wisdom of the strict policies.
- The decision to end the lockdown came after four days without COVID-related deaths and with a low percentage of cases. Residents are still required to have a negative PCR test within the last 48 hours in order to move throughout the city. Not all businesses will reopen right away; some, such as gyms and movie theaters, will remain closed, while other businesses will operate at 75% capacity.
- Bigger picture: The long-term political impact of Shanghai’s lockdown is still developing. President Xi Jinping, leader of the Communist Party, is seeking re-election later this year but faces opposition. However, “the country’s leadership appears to be acknowledging the public backlash against measures seen as trampling already severely limited rights to privacy and participation in the workings of government” (Associated Press).
Shanghai Ready to Exit Lockdown as Covid Cases Drop (Wall Street Journal)
Shanghai starts coming back to life as COVID lockdown eases (Associated Press)
by Jenna Lee,