Shanghai bustles again as life returns to normal

By ZHOU WENTING and HE QI in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-02 07:41
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People stroll on Wednesday at the Bund in Shanghai amid the city's return to normalcy and the easing of its COVID-19 prevention and control measures. Shanghai had been under lockdown since the end of March, when a major outbreak hit the city. [Photo by Ding Ting/Xinhua]

Transportation services resume, businesses reopen as major milestones achieved

Veterinarian Yu Zhe, who has lived alone at Shanghai PAW Veterinary Hospital for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was finally able to return home at midnight on Tuesday, when the city's lockdown was officially lifted.

Since April 1, Yu had been in sole charge of nearly 20 pets at the facility, providing assistance to animal owners living in the area.

However, returning home does not mean that she will be taking a break.

"When I announced in the WeChat group with pet owners that our hospital would resume normal operations on Wednesday, the group suddenly became extremely active," said Yu, deputy director of the Shanghai Pet Industry Association.

"Vet appointments for Wednesday and Thursday were booked up quickly. We are expecting about 20 pets to arrive at the hospital every day, and we are now arranging appointments for Friday and the weekend."

To deal with the surge in appointments, Yu arranged for three additional staff members to work on Wednesday. She said that with more vets returning to work, the number of pet owners seeking help last month fell significantly compared with April.

Yu is just one of more than 22 million Shanghai residents in low-risk communities who can now leave their compounds and neighborhoods without limited time passes or area restrictions after the city government lifted most epidemic control measures and allowed many businesses to resume operations.

The streets of Shanghai were bustling again on Wednesday, with residents eager to get out and about. From early morning onward, many people were seen at landmark sites, including the Bund and the riverside in Pudong New Area.

Figures from the bike-sharing app Meituan showed that cycle trips rose by 535 percent during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, compared with the same time last week.

In a letter of thanks to Shanghai residents, the city's Party committee and the municipal government said, "After all these unforgettable days, when the metropolis was paused unprecedentedly, Shanghai has achieved major milestones in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus."

The letter stated that the major task now is economic recovery and consolidating hard-won epidemic control results.

"With the city's characteristics of openness, innovation and inclusiveness, Shanghai will strive to build a stronger, safer and more attractive environment for individuals and business development, and give people more reasons to have trust, remain in the city, and to love Shanghai," the letter added.

On Tuesday, Shanghai registered 15 new COVID-19 infections, all detected in quarantined populations. The number of daily infections in the city has fallen to double digits for three consecutive days.

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