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The southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chengdu began today to lift the anti-covid quarantine, which forced the closure of schools and shops, and its residents remained stranded in their homes for more than two weeks, France Press reported.

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The capital of Sichuan province, the city with a population of about 21 million is the largest in the country where a lockdown has been imposed, after the economic capital Shanghai in the April-June period, Darik adds.

China is implementing a strict sanitation policy in the fight against COVID-19, and local authorities are under pressure to avoid another outbreak of the epidemic before the party congress scheduled for mid-October.

"Thanks to the collective efforts in Chengdu, the epidemic has been effectively brought under control," the city hall said in a communique yesterday.

The administration, public transport and businesses closed since September 1 can resume their activities.

Schools will also gradually open their doors.

Anyone wishing to go to a public place (office, apartment building, shopping center, gym, swimming pool, etc.) will have to present a negative urine test done in the last three days.

Similar measures are being taken in other major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Todor Radev on COVID-19 in China: The strictest measures are in the city of Chengdu

No new cases of the disease have been reported in Chengdu today. 

During the lockdown, local residents told AFP they were unable to get out of their homes during a strong earthquake that was felt in the city, with the epicenter about 200km away.

From the end of September, Chengdu will host the world table tennis championships, which will take place in a special bubble similar to the corresponding facilities used at the February-March Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Twenty-seven people died yesterday in an accident with a bus traveling to a quarantine center in the neighboring province of Guizhou.

Local authorities have apologized and launched an investigation into the tragic incident, which has sparked outrage over the excesses of health policy.

The Ministry of Health reported today 807 new cases of COVID-19 in China in the past 24 hours.

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The epidemic of coronavirus (COVID-19)