China Allows Home Quarantine, Orders End of Temporary Lockdowns But Defends Covid Zero to Not Look Weak

Chinese cities loosen coronavirus State-run media outlets reported that the restrictions on Wednesday signal a change from the hardline Covid-zero regime.

Officials said that people infected with Kovid can now be quarantined at home, but only those who have mild or no symptoms will be allowed to do so. The announcement marks a significant change that shows China may be starting to live with the virus Guardian informed of

The Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) directed the authorities to stop introducing a temporary lockdown. It also ended testing and health code requirements for people traveling across China, allowing people to move around freely ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday period.

Earlier, not only infected persons but also their close contacts, including children and the elderly, were taken to institutional quarantine centres, where people were kept against their will and even those kept inside those quarantine centres. Has been accused of beating.

“Asymptomatic persons and mild cases can be isolated at home while strengthening health surveillance, and they can be transferred to designated hospitals for timely treatment,” the NHC said in a statement accessed by the Guardian.

Schools have been instructed to function normally as long as no outbreak is reported.

Relaxation of rules for Beijingers

Global Times Said Beijing residents would not be required to present a negative RT-PCR test report before entering public places such as supermarkets, office buildings and parks.

However, they will need to scan their health codes before entering those locations.

Global Times said that according to the ninth edition of China’s COVID-19 Control Protocol and the 20 measures released recently, measures to control the spread of COVID in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have been adapted.

Along with the capital Beijing, 50 other cities have announced similar measures to ease testing protocols for public places.

The Chinese government has tried to put a positive spin on the developments to keep its people and critics of Covid zero from thinking that restrictions have been eased because of the protests earlier in November.

positive spin

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said that China’s approach to ending COVID was science-based and effective. He said this gave precious time to the authorities to develop vaccines, save lives of people and reduce the impact of COVID on socioeconomic development.

However, investors and economists around the world fear that the world’s second largest economy, China, has suffered a severe blow to its economic growth due to the Covid zero policy.

Factories remain closed and production halts, damaging global supply chains, and economists are forecasting 3% GDP growth, down from previously expected 6% and 8% annual growth projections.

There has been some degree of acceptance from local governments that Chinese citizens were getting frustrated under the Covid-zero regime, of which Chinese President Xi Jinping is a big fan.

Not all measures have been relaxed

Although the measures are eased, Beijing residents wishing to visit internet cafes and bars must present a negative RT-PCR test report taken at least 48 hours prior. Customers will also need 48 hours of negative results to dine inside the restaurant.

In Beijing, residents will need a negative test report taken at least 48 hours prior to entering elderly care institutions, child welfare institutions, inpatient medical institutions and schools. Global Times said in a report.

The change came only after hundreds of Chinese citizens, including students from Tsinghua and Peking universities, demanded the loosening of Covid-zero measures. Xi met with EU Council President Charles Michel this week and denied that the protests were a reflection of public discontent.

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