Commuters wearing face masks wait at an intersection in the central business. AP
On Monday evening, some of the people allowed out of their compounds for brief walks took advantage of suspended traffic to congregate for a soft-drink and icecream on deserted streets, but there was a sense of wariness and anxiety among residents.
Most will be stuck indoors again until midnight, as they have been for the past two months under a ruthlessly enforced lockdown that has caused income losses, stress and despair to millions struggling to access food or get emergency healthcare.
The prolonged isolation has fuelled public anger and rare protests inside Shanghai and battered the city's manufacturing and export-heavy economy, disrupting supply chains in China and around the world, and slowing international trade.
Workers stand on a truck as the city prepares to end the lockdown in Shanghai, China on Tuesday. Reuters
Life is set to return to something more like normal from Wednesday, when the passes issued by residential buildings for people to go out for a few hours will be scrapped, public transport will resume and residents can go back to work.
"Now that I'm going back to work so suddenly, I feel a little nervous," said resident Joseph Mak, who works in education. "It's hard to believe it's actually happening."
The easing of curbs applies only to those in low-risk areas, or about 22.5 million people. Residents will still have to wear masks and are discouraged from gathering.
Dining inside restaurants remains banned. Shops can operate at 75% capacity. Gyms will reopen later.
Residents will have to get COVID tests every 72 hours to take public transport and enter public venues. Tough quarantine is still in store for anyone testing positive and their close contacts.
China's financial hub of Shanghai continued to report a spike in cases, with companies in the country struggling to maintain output amid stringent curbs.
That compared with 5,656 new asymptomatic cases and 326 new cases with symptoms reported a day earlier. Shanghai on Sunday announced a two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million people to carry out COVID-19 testing.
The snap lockdown, announced by Shanghai's city government on Sunday, will split the city in two roughly along the Huangpu River for nine days to allow for "staggered" testing. It is the biggest COVID-related disruption to hit the city.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed on Thursday, honoured the winners of the eighth edition of the "Thank You” Award for employees of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
European foreign ministers and UN agencies called for a ceasefire, with alarm rising over the worsening humanitarian crisis and potential starvation in the territory.
The weather on Sunday and Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to cloudy at times with a chance of drizzles to moderate and heavy rains at times on some areas, especially the northern, eastern and coastal ones, accompanied by a drop in temperature, especially in the west,..