Wed | Jun 29, 2022

Shanghai to reopen subways in easing of COVID lockdown

Published:Friday | May 20, 2022 | 12:12 AM

BEIJING (AP):

The locked-down Chinese metropolis of Shanghai will reopen four of its 20 subway lines Sunday as it slowly eases pandemic restrictions that have kept most residents in their housing complexes for more than six weeks.

The city will also restart 273 bus lines connecting major urban centers, airports, train stations and hospitals as it resumes cross-district public transit, Yu Fulin, director of the Shanghai Transport Commission, said at a daily pandemic briefing Thursday.

It wasn’t immediately clear how frequent the service would be. Bus service resumed on a trial basis within three outlying districts this week, with buses running every 30 to 90 minutes during daylight hours.

The lockdown of China’s largest city has dealt a blow to the economy and frustrated residents, particularly as many countries elsewhere in the world move away from such harsh measures as they try to live with the virus. But officials have stuck to a “zero-COVID” approach, saying that lifting restrictions could strain the public health system and lead to more deaths, particularly among the not fully vaccinated elderly.

The outbreak in Shanghai has taken 580 lives, according to official statistics, making it the deadliest one in China since the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan in early 2020.