China’s southern tech hub of Shenzhen has lifted restrictions in five districts, saying the Covid-19 outbreak is now mostly under control, as the government pledged to step up support for businesses in areas still under lockdown. Government agencies and businesses in the districts of Yantian, Guangming, Pingshan, Dapeng and Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone, which have not reported new cases in recent days, have been able to reopen and resume production on Friday, with subways and buses back in operation. The Shenzhen government announced the easing of lockdown measures on Thursday evening, while also promising diversified Covid-19 control measures to help companies and factories. The city’s main commercial areas remain under lockdown, which started on Monday. Foxconn partially resumes production in Shenzhen amid worst Covid outbreak Some of Shenzhen’s most populous areas, including the finance and commerce hub of Futian and the tech-oriented Nanshan district, will stay under lockdown until March 20. The move came after Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on officials to make getting Covid-19 under control their top priority during a meeting of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body. Xi vowed to take more effective measures to fight the biggest surge of the disease in China since the first outbreak two years ago in Wuhan, while also minimising the impact to the economy and people’s lives. The next step for Shenzhen is to control the pandemic with scientific and precise methods, while ensuring the stability of production and the supply chain, Huang Qiang, deputy secretary general of the Shenzhen government, said in a press conference on Friday. Shenzhen reported 69 symptomatic cases and 36 asymptomatic cases for Thursday, which were mainly found among people in quarantine and places under restrictions. Nationwide, China logged more than 4,100 local infections for the day. A resident of Guangming, Shenzhen’s northwestern industrial district, said life and work is back to normal since she has been able to return to her office after working from home for four days. She noted that she still has to scan a QR code to enter her office building and participate in mass testing. “Most of our colleagues were able to come into the office today because the majority of us live in the area, but a few living in Baoan district still can’t come in, although it’s quite near our company,” she said. Her company was among the many forced to temporarily suspend operations on Monday. The metropolis of 17 million people has closed public transport, including subways and buses, and ordered residents to work from home until March 20. The local government announced a plan to carry out three rounds of citywide Covid-19 tests this week. Apart from firms offering essential public services and those ensuring daily supplies are delivered to Shenzhen and neighbouring Hong Kong, all other companies will need to follow the work-from-home policy or suspend operations, according to the Shenzhen government. However, the government noted that industrial sites where workers live, work and commute in a closed environment can continue to operate normally with prevention measures in place. After a two-day closure, the Shenzhen factories of Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group restarted some operations on Wednesday under this type of “closed-loop” management, which keeps all employees living and working on company campuses.