Excitement in Shanghai as officials promise to reopen after two-month lockdown and cases continue to flatten in US northeast

Excitement reigned in Shanghai on Tuesday after officials announced they would take some important steps on Wednesday to reopen and end the two-month COVID-19 lockdown in China’s largest city, which has confined most residents to their homes.

Full bus and subway service will be restored, as will basic rail links with the rest of China, Vice Mayor Zong Ming said Tuesday at a daily municipal news briefing about the outbreak, the Associated Press reported.

Schools will partially reopen on a voluntary basis for students, and shopping malls, supermarkets, drugstores and convenience stores will continue to gradually reopen at no more than 75% of their capacity. Cinemas and gyms remain closed.

Shanghai counted just 29 new COVID cases on Monday, well below the roughly 20,000 a day it recorded in April. Li Qiang, the top official of the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, was quoted as saying at a meeting Monday that the city has made great strides in controlling the outbreak through continuous struggle.

Despite censorship, videos shared online show growing desperation and anger over ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns in China’s economic capital Shanghai, where officials are trying to solve problems like food shortages while redoubling the country’s tough pandemic policies. Photo composite: Emily Siu

The news was welcomed by investors, who sent oil prices higher by 3.7% on expectations that the reopening would help revitalize the local economy. Shanghai is an important manufacturing center.

In the US, cases may stabilize after a steady increase since late March thanks to the highly infectious Omicron variant and its subvariants.

The US is averaging 109,105 cases per day, up 14% from two weeks ago. according to a New York Times tracker. But cases leveled off in Northeast states that have been hotspots lately, including New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. However, they are rising in the South and Southwest and have more than doubled in Arizona, South Carolina and West Virginia in the past two weeks.

The country is seeing an average of 26,781 hospital admissions per day, up 20% from two weeks ago but well below January’s omicron peak of more than 150,000. The daily death toll is averaging 368, up 22% from two weeks ago.

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s daily roundup has been curating and reporting on the latest developments every weekday since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• Nasal vaccines to protect against COVID-19 are being studied in seven clinical trials, according to Mayuresh Abhyankar, a University of Virginia researcher who explains that there are many immunological benefits to vaccinating someone right where the coronavirus is likely to begin its attack. Intranasal vaccines are best for protecting against pathogens that enter through the nose, such as the flu or the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. By mimicking the first step of natural exposure to an airborne pathogen, these vaccines help train a person’s immune system at the potential site of infection.

• The Board of the World Health Organization agreed Monday to form a new committee to speed up response to health emergencies such as COVID-19. as Reuters reports. The agency has been criticized for its handling of the pandemic, including delays early in the crisis. Some disease experts say governments and the WHO must avoid repeating such early missteps in other outbreaks like monkeypox. That resolutionAdopted unanimously at the annual meeting of the 34-member board, will form a new Standing Committee on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies to help address perceived deficiencies.

North Korea is facing a spike in fever cases after reporting its first local Covid-19 infection in mid-May. The WSJ examines Kim Jong Un’s strategy for fighting the pandemic in the impoverished country, which has low testing capacity and an unvaccinated population. Photos: KCTV; STR/AFP

• British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under renewed fire after leaked text messages over the weekend suggested he and his wife died on March 19. reported the Guardian. The social event was left unaddressed by the recent investigation into breaches of COVID rules by Johnson and his fellow Tories, a scandal nicknamed “Partygate” that has prompted calls for Johnson to resign.

• A Beijing man has quarantined thousands of his neighbors after ignoring a stay-at-home order and later testing positive COVID-19leading to a police investigation CBS News reports. The man, in his 40s, surnamed Sun, failed to comply with a self-isolation request issued after visiting a mall deemed high-risk. Sun and his wife later tested positive, prompting authorities to confine 5,000 of their neighbors at home and send 250 to a government quarantine center.

Here’s what the numbers say

The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed 529.4 million on Tuesday, while the death toll rose to over 6.28 million. based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US leads the world with 84 million cases and 1,004,770 deaths.

That Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker shows that 221.1 million people in the US are fully vaccinated, which is 66.6% of the total population. But only 103.2 million received an initial booster, which is 46.7% of the vaccinated population.

Only 13.5 million of those aged 50 and over who were eligible for a second booster shot received one, which is 21.5% of those who received a first booster shot. Excitement in Shanghai as officials promise to reopen after two-month lockdown and cases continue to flatten in US northeast

Brian Lowry

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