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Today in Covid: Exit Passes, Lockdown Freedom End of May + More

Random updates from the front lines of lockdown…
2022-05-06 16:00:00

Nothing really game changing to report in this episode of "Today in Covid", y'all. There's been a few developments here and there, though...

...and these are them.

And so it goes.

Gov' Experts Predict an End to All of This... "By End of May"

Picking up on the saber rattling lingo from their source, the state-owned-and-always-well-informed media platform Global Times quotes several official experts that predict the lockdowns are likely to be lifted "by end of May". Around the same time, according to experts quoted in the same article, a rather robust economic recovery is to be expected. But of course.

The Times further quotes a recent leadership meeting in which the CPC Central Committee stands firm with the current policy and strategy:

"China will surely win the war against COVID-19 with its scientific and effective epidemic control policy that will stand the test of time, according to a meeting of the top leadership on Thursday. "We won the battle against the epidemic in Wuhan, and we will surely win the battle against the virus in Shanghai," said the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, which was chaired by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee."

More People Are Getting Compound Exit Passes (?)

If you find yourself in a "Precautionary Zone" in a "Cleared Area", you might have gotten an "Exit Pass" that would allow one resident per household to leave the compound once a day for a limited amount of time, for purchasing food and necessities. We first heard of these a few weeks ago and now it seems like more districts are making use of them, in the somewhat opaque and inconsistent method that has come to define these modern times.

Since public transportation is not available and private cars are still not allowed, we've read several reports of compounds organizing bus trips to nearby shopping malls. Other reports indicated that residents are only allowed out under the observation of the Neighborhood Committee into predesignated shops in their immediate area.

Next Level Group Buying: Haircuts

Some residents in Zhichun in Putuo group bought a bunch of hairdressers to come in and fix up their lockdown haircut situations. That's kinda funny.

Can we group buy services now? Massage therapists? Bar tenders? Chefs? Someone to just roll me over on this couch?

More Shops Are Reopening; People Are Going Back to Work (...Maybe. Sort of.)

Slowly... ever so slowly... it seems that an increasing number of businesses are opening up. We've seen notices being sent to fashion boutiques in luxury shopping malls that allow them to open up. One condition: the staff has to commit to a "closed loop", which means that they would have to sleep in the shop. Ehh.

As the rules become more clear for how work is to resume, it's also been stated that companies in Closed Areas need to organize all employees to take two tests each day, including an antigen test in the morning and a nucleic acid test in the afternoon.

"Basic Clearance" Has Been Explained. So There's That.

Another day, another new term to explain the character of your confinement and release.

"Basic Clearance" describes a situation in which a district has less then 1 case per 100,000 residents for three consecutive days in the district's (or sub-district in the case of Pudong) Precautionary Zones.

So, all the Precautionary Zones in your district — all together, if they manage less than one case per 100,000 people for three days, your district has achieved "Basic Clearance".

Without "Basic Clearance", residents of Precautionary Zones have to stay within their sub-district, which is usually just your compound or a few blocks around it. You've probably seen people walking about for a bit on their moments. That's what's happening.

Once Basic Clearance has been achieved for your district, the people in Precautionary Zones are free to roam around the "entire district".

As of this writing, there are 6 districts that have achieved Basic Clearance: Fengxian, Jinshan, Chongming, Qingpu, Songjiang, and Putuo.

In these districts, public transportation is also slowly becoming available — except for Putuo because... it's too close to the city center.

Buildings Are Still Okay in the Case of Repeated Positive Cases

Here's another interesting bit of news bit that we missed earlier: "The research results in China and abroad are consistent, with both proving that people that have recovered from Covid and have been discharged from hospital, even if their test result turn positive, it's not contagious."

So this explains why, if someone returns from central quarantine and tests positive again, the entire building won't have to repeat the 14-day cycle.

Beijing Shortens Quarantine Time

Ending off with some positive news: Several weeks after China acknowledged that the incubation period of Omnicron is only three days, the quarantine time for people entering China has been shortened from 14 to 10 days, plus 7 days home quarantine.

Baby steps...