Shanghai, China’s financial hub, today unveiled new plans to break the lockdown as it heads for a return to normalcy, but broad economic recovery is still far away, making the need for further support measures urgent.
The city of 25 million people, which is expected to officially leave the lockdown on June 1, is carefully relaxing the restrictions of COVID-19, allowing more residents to move out of the house.
City officials said today that high school students could return to life lessons from June 6, following reports earlier this week that malls and department stores would be allowed to reopen, albeit gradually, from June 1.
Shanghai announced 338 new local cases as of May 25, the lowest number since mid-March, compared with tens of thousands at the height of April.
The city has faced particular difficulties due to the lockdown that has been imposed since the beginning of April. Other cities that are not under the same restrictive regime, but where strict COVID measures have been imposed, including the capital Beijing, are also trying to keep their local economies alive.
In a pessimistic view of the world’s second largest economy, Prime Minister Li Keqiang said yesterday that its difficulties in some areas were even greater than in 2020, when China was first hit by the pandemic. China will try to achieve “satisfactory” GDP growth in the second quarter, Li told thousands of government officials across the country in an online meeting.
“The unusual meeting is the culmination of a series of official announcements, with an increasingly urgent nature, in recent days in an effort to resolve the financial turmoil caused by the wave of lockdowns for COVID-19,” analysts said in a report. Gavekal Dragonomics. “The urgent interest in stabilizing growth paves the way for the development of more aggressive support measures in the coming weeks.”