More Chinese cities ease curbs, but full zero-Covid exit still a far cry

Wednesday 07th December 2022 05:16 EST

Beijing: Following massive protests over restrictions last weekend, China is attempting to make its zero-Covid policy more targeted and manageable by reducing coronavirus bans in more Chinese cities, including Urumqi in the far west. The National Health Commission stated that the nation recorded two new Covid-19 deaths in the provinces of Shandong and Sichua. There was no information provided regarding the victims' ages or vaccination status.

Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region and where the protests first erupted, will reopen malls, markets, restaurants and other venues, authorities said, ending strict lockdowns after months.

People in Zhengzhou, the central city home to the world’s largest iPhone plant which was last month rocked by violent unrest, will no longer have to show Covid test results to take public transport, taxis and to visit “public areas”, stated by authorities. Karaoke bars, salons, internet cafes and other indoor venues can reopen but must check for a negative 48-hour Covid test result.

In Shanghai a negative Covid test will no longer be required to take public transport and visit parks, said authorities. An additional criterion for a negative Covid test to use the subway was removed in Nanning and Wuhan. The Haizhu district of Guangzhou has stated that it will no longer urge those without symptoms of Covid to get tested for the virus unless they fall into one of many special categories, such as frontline workers or those with a red or yellow designation. Authorities in Beijing said that registration is no longer need for the purchase of fever; cough and sore throat medicines.

Sources revealed that China is set to announce an easing of its Covid-19 quarantine protocols in the coming days and a reduction in mass testing, a marked shift in policy after anger over the world’s toughest curbs fuelled widespread protests.

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