China Indicates A Relaxation Of The Covid Policy

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Credit: Martin Sanchez/Unsplash

Although there are many everyday cases, China has indicated a change in its Covid position as it moves to relax some viral prohibitions, as reported by BBC.

New position

On Thursday, lockdown restrictions were lifted in dozens of neighbourhoods in Shanghai and Guangzhou, areas that had experienced an increase in instances.

The vice-premier of the nation also declared that the nation was in a “new position.”

It happens as China experiences widespread demonstrations against its zero-Covid policy.

Ten people were murdered in a high-rise building fire in western Xinjiang last week, which is what started the disturbance. Although the officials dispute this, many Chinese think that the city’s long-standing Covid prohibitions played a role in the fatalities.

Days of sizable protests in numerous cities were sparked by it; they have subsequently subsided amidst a significant police presence.

New situations and tasks

On Wednesday, restrictions in big cities like Guangzhou were quickly relaxed after the city experienced violent rallies that led to fights between protestors and police.

According to a Reuters report, a neighbourhood in the Chinese capital Beijing also permitted Covid cases with mild symptoms to isolate at home. This is a marked departure from earlier this year’s protocols, which saw entire communities and buildings locked down, sometimes as a result of just one positive case.

Some limitations were also loosened in other significant cities, like Shanghai and Chongqing.

Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, one of China’s top pandemic officials, recently said that the virus’ capacity to spread disease was waning.

As the virulence of the Omicron virus lowers, more people get immunised, and expertise in containing the virus accumulates, she added, according to a Reuters story, “the country is facing a new situation and new tasks in epidemic prevention and management.”

This stands in stark contrast to past government messages urging the nation to uphold a strict zero-Covid policy.

Putting off lockdowns

Hu Xijin, a former state media editor who now tweets pro-Communist Party commentary, maintained that the actions demonstrated that China was “moving quickly to put off large-scale lockdowns.”

Lijin Hong, an associate professor at Sun Yat-sen University, predicted that after the lockdown restrictions were lifted in many areas of Guangzhou, “The city would not fully recover for some time. However, it’s amazing to see Guangzhou once more.”

With more than 36,000 cases reported on Wednesday, China recently had its highest daily Covid case count since the outbreak began.

For a nation with 1.4 billion inhabitants, the figures are still insignificant, and as of right now, just over 5,200 people have died as a result of the pandemic.

This translates to three Covid fatalities per million in China, vs 3,000 per million in the US and 2,400 per million in the UK, albeit it can be challenging to make precise comparisons between them.

 

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Source: BBC

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