Authorities in Shanghai said on Friday they were devising a plan for the resumption of work and classes as they aim to reach zero-Covid in the community by the middle of May.
The city reported 2,096 new cases on Friday, of which 227 were symptomatic.
Two more elderly Covid patients passed away, according to officials in the financial hub.
The latest infection figure in Shanghai was up by about 650 from the day before, but local authorities said the outbreak was easing as almost all of the new cases were found in quarantine areas.
"We have to work hard to achieve zero Covid at the community level by the middle of this month," said the city's deputy mayor Wu Qing.
"By then, we would gradually reopen in an orderly manner," added Wu.
He explained that cutting transmission in the community is a prerequisite for the easing of strict restrictions.
Authorities in the financial hub are now working on a plan to allow the gradual resumption of mass production in factories, ease traffic restrictions, open supermarkets and department stores and let residents head back to work and school, said Wu.
As Shanghai looked to lift some of its curbs, officials in Beijing urged people to stay home while dispelling rumours that a lockdown was looming for the capital.
Beijing added 50 new infections – 42 of which were symptomatic.
Overall, mainland health authorities reported 2,452 new coronavirus cases on Friday.
Shanghai aims for zero Covid by mid-May
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