As China eases ‘Zero-COVID’ rules, close to 12,000 new covid cases reported


The Chinese district of Guangzhou, which is home to 1.8 million people on Saturday ordered its citizens to stay at home for virus testing following another rise in the number of infections.

Although China’s numbers are low, a “zero-COVID” approach that attempts to isolate every infected individual is being challenged by a rise over the past week. Over the previous 24 hours, a total of 11,773 infections—including 10,351 patients with no symptoms—were reported nationally.

Watch | WION Fineprint | China eases COVID restrictions

AP reports that while in order to reduce the cost and disruption, quarantine for travellers arriving in China has been reduced from a minimum of seven days to five, the ruling Communist Party said it would stick to its strict zero-COVID approach. 

On Saturday, health officials also issued a warning that the decision to change anti-virus safeguards did not signal their end.

Also read | Chinese are using Cantonese to criticise zero-Covid amid heavy censorship

This is at a time when other nations attempt to switch to a long-term approach to coping with the virus and have generally loosened travel and other restrictions.

Rather than unwinding or “lying flat,” the NHC deputy director Lei Haichao noted, “This is more precise and scientific prevention and treatment.”

Also read | China eases quarantine rules, scraps inbound air travel curbs even though Covid cases spike

“Prevent the epidemic and minimize the impact on economic and social development,” according to Lei, is the aim.

The modifications would permit some international businesses and athletes travelling to China to move around inside a restricted area without having to undergo a quarantine period. More precise guidelines on who constitutes an infected person’s contact will lower the number of affected people.

(With inputs from agencies)


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