Shanghai will slowly restore its high, medium and low-risk area designations from next month as part of normalized COVID-19 prevention and control amid the declining number of daily infections.

A local community, village or company will be rated as a high-risk area if at least 10 positive cases or two gathering outbreaks are reported within two weeks.

If fewer than 10 cases or one cluster outbreak are reported in the past two weeks, the place will become a medium-risk area, according to the Shanghai Health Commission.

People in high and medium-risk areas will have to stay at home and receive a polymerase chain reaction test every day for two weeks. If no additional case is reported for 14 days, it will be downgraded to a low-risk area, Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the commission, told the city’s daily COVID-19 press briefing yesterday.

The current three-area designation — locked-down, controlled and precautionary areas — will coexist with the high, medium and low-risk area designations through the end of May.

“The number of ‘locked-down and controlled areas’ is expected to become smaller with the declining number of daily infections,” Zhao pointed out.

“In the next phase, the ‘precautionary areas’ will be abandoned and become low-risk areas.”

About 21 million residents, about 85 percent of the city’s population, are in “precautionary areas” — communities, villages, companies and sites without a positive case in the past two weeks.

The number of residents in “locked-down areas” is 510,000, while less than 1.7 million are in “controlled areas.”

A “locked-down area” will be downgraded to a “controlled area,” if it reports no new infections for a week, and become a “precautionary area” if it reports no infection for three additional days in a row, according to Zhao.

If new cases are detected in a “precautionary area,” it will be rated as a high or medium-risk area. If no new case is reported in a “precautionary area,” it will become a low-risk area from next month.

Wu Qing, the city’s executive vice mayor, said earlier that the current three-area designation was for emergency conditions, while the high, medium and low-risk area designations are for normalized COVID-19 prevention and control.

Five medium-risk areas in the Pudong New Area, which were rated in late March before the city’s phased lockdown, were downgraded to low-risk areas yesterday.

The number of local infections dropped by 28 percent to 622 on Saturday, with zero community infections.

Downtown Yangpu and Hongkou districts reported nearly half of the city’s total positive cases in their “locked-down areas” and among people under quarantine. Both districts have issued notices to suspend the reopening of supermarkets and launch continuous PCR screening among all residents.

Elsewhere in Shanghai, Jing’an District has also announced it will carry out daily PCR screening among all residents through tomorrow when all shops have been told to close and residents are required to stay home. All exit passes, previously given to residents in “precautionary areas” that allowed them to leave their homes for short walks, have become invalid.

Suburban Qingpu District announced that the resumption of its public transport will be postponed, while Malu Town on the outskirts of suburban Jiading District launched a PCR screening yesterday, with all residents required to stay at home.

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