Image Source: REUTERS
With cases of Covid sharply dropping in major Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the government has relaxed its control over the public. Authorities recorded 20 new cases nationwide, which is a far cry from 54 that was reported just a day ago.
The Chinese government reported that there had been eight new cases of Covid in Beijing, while only six were recorded in Shanghai.
Shanghai and Beijing both imposed strict protocols amid new waves of the Covid virus over the last two months. Shanghai ordered its citizens to stay inside their residences for mass virus testing two months ago, while Beijing imposed stricter controls only a month ago.
However, with the recent developments and seeing how cases have been declining over time, authorities have relaxed their strict control in order to provide space for major economic hubs.
Shanghai authorities have announced that starting Wednesday, businesses can reopen without applying for approval. They have also mentioned several initiatives to help the country’s economic recovery further and engage consumers.
Shanghai announced that they would grant 10,000 yuan or $1,493 to any citizen who switches to a battery-powered car.
The state’s largest city has declared that only 220,000 are most restricted from getting out of their homes, while the remaining 22 million had been permitted to resume normal routines outside.
At the same time, the city of Beijing has reaped the benefits from its proactive approach to countering the pandemic. Many businesses are now opening, including a luxury mall and an amusement park called Happy Valley Beijing.
The Chinese government has announced that if the cases continue to decline, public spaces such as libraries, gyms, and museums will soon open up their doors at half capacity.
The capital is just opening up to the public, but some sectors haven’t been allowed to operate yet. Middle schools and elementary schools cannot open until further notice, while restaurants are only able to provide takeout or delivery services at this time.
Both major cities in China have taken protocols to battle the recent outbreaks of Covid, including the presentation of a valid negative virus test to enter public areas. In Beijing, the validity of the test lasts for 48 hours, while in Shanghai, authorities said that it would lengthen its validity to 72 hours.
Even with the developments, there is still uncertainty regarding the pace and method with which businesses can recover.
On Sunday, Goldman Sachs analysts said that many clients in Beijing “question the magnitude of the growth rebound” even with the ease of controls.
“Local clients worry about scarring effects from anti-pandemic measures and growth slowdown, which include heightened uncertainties around economic and policy outlook, a higher number of bankruptcies and elevated unemployment rates,” they said in a statement.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.