China has reported zero new COVID-19 infections for the first time since March.
The country is the last major economy committed to a zero-COVID strategy, with restrictions aimed at stamping out all infections including lockdowns, mass testing and long quarantine periods.
Infections have slowed to a trickle in recent days, with Shanghai on Saturday reporting zero locally transmitted cases for the first time since before the outbreak in early March.
The Shanghai city said in a statement; “There were no new domestic COVID-19 confirmed cases and no new domestic asymptomatic infections in Shanghai."
In Beijing, restrictions imposed in May were later eased as cases declined, but tightened again this month.
The city’s education bureau also said on Saturday that all elementary and middle school students could return to their classrooms for in-person schooling on Monday.
However, China’s southern Shenzhen said on Saturday it would close wholesale markets, cinemas and gyms in a central district bordering Hong Kong.
Chinese officials insist the zero-COVID policy is necessary to prevent a healthcare calamity, pointing to low vaccination rates among the elderly.
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