January 27, 2023

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Corona Virus | China announces general relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions | Covid Zero | Xi Jinping | the world

It announced a general relaxation in health rules on Wednesday Abandoning the containment strategy against Covid-19, it created a historic wave of protests across the country.

Unrest over covid zero policy ChinaIt included sudden lockdowns, continuous testing and quarantine for those who were not infected, leading to demonstrations not seen since the pro-democracy movement of 1989.

See: How China Stuck on Its Zero Covid Policy and Why Vaccines Are Its Achilles Heel

The authorities tried to suppress these protests, but at the same time, they began to respond to demands, first at the local level and now at the national level.

New guidelines issued by the National Health Commission (CNS) on Wednesday address that The volume and scope of PCR tests (almost routine under Covid-19) will be reduced.

Barriers will also be reduced And people with mild cases of Covid can self-isolate at home instead of being sent to government facilities.

Further, People should not show the green health code on their phone to enter buildings and public placesExcept for “nursing homes, medical institutions, day care centers and secondary and higher education centers”.

“Asymptomatic infected persons and mild patients who can be isolated at home are usually isolated at home”End the requirement for isolation in government facilities, the new rules say.

“Mass PCR tests will be carried out only in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and high-risk work units. Scope and frequency of PCR tests will be further reduced”, They add.

Additionally, “those traveling between provinces should not provide a test result within the previous 48 hours and are not required to take the test upon arrival.”

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China will also speed up vaccination of the elderly, seen as one of the main obstacles to easing the Covid-zero policy.

Change of speech

Demonstrations erupted across the country late last month against this restrictive Communist Party policy. Some called for greater political freedom or for the president to step down Xi Jinping.

Since then, many Chinese cities have rolled back some of the more irritating restrictions.

Capital BeijingMany businesses have already fully reopened, it said this week Citizens should not present a negative test in the last 48 hours to access public transport.

ShanghaiThis year saw a strict two-month lockdown, announcing similar measures and It will allow its citizens to enter open spaces like parks and tourist spots without providing a recent test.

Even the state-controlled media, once filled with dire messages about the dangers of the virus and the devastation it has wreaked in other countries, has been severely curtailed to minimize the risks of contagion.

The Omicron variation “Last year was not like the delta variant,” medical professor Chong Yudian said in an article published by the Communist Party’s China Youth Daily.

“After a variant infection Omicron“The majority have mild or no symptoms, and only a few develop severe symptoms,” he said.

But analysts at Japanese firm Nomura counted in 53 cities on Monday ChinaWith one-third of the national population, restrictions were maintained.

Wednesday’s announcement came hours after the government released new figures showing a strong economic impact of the zero-covid policy.

Chinese imports and exports fell in November to levels not seen since the start of 2020 when the pandemic paralyzed the country.

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According to the General Administration of Customs, imports fell 10.6% year-on-year through November. Exports fell by 8.7% during the same period.