COVID lockdown in China metropolis loosening this weekend

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Shanghai will loosen COVID-related lockdown measures over the weekend. 

Authorities in the largest city in China announced Thursday that the metropolis will reopen four of its 20 subway lines.

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In addition, 273 bus lines will restart, Yu Fulin, director of the Shanghai Transport Commission, said at a daily pandemic briefing.

Shanghai’s more than a month-and-a-half-long lockdown and the nation’s “zero-COVID” strategy have drawn international criticism, as many residents reported shortages of food and critical medicine. 

Up until recently, most of the city’s 25 million residents were confined to their homes or communities and official statistics show the outbreak there has killed 580 people. 

On Wednesday, Shanghai recorded about 700 new cases – the majority of new cases nationwide. None were from outside quarantined areas, for the fifth consecutive day.

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Now, residents have been allowed to shop for groceries, though protective measures remain in place. 

This comes as Beijing leaders have worked to slow the spread of the virus, suspending transportation and encouraging residents to work from home. 

The nation’s capital has ordered rounds of mass testing, banned indoor dining and shuttered schools and tourist sites. 

Some residential communities are under lockdown and people have been warned to avoid traveling between city districts.

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Fifty-five new coronavirus cases were reported, down from 69. 

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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