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China Relaxing COVID-19 Measures Following Protests

Massive protests in China prompt the country to ease its strict zero-COVID policies.

Recent weeks saw widespread protests across China, mainly in its major cities, signaling public dissatisfaction with the stringent zero-COVID strategy. In response to the protests, China has started to roll back its COVID-19 restrictions. The number of rapid antigen testing sites has been reduced or eliminated, and the mobile app used for travel tracking and contact tracing, known as the “mobile itinerary card,” has been deactivated.

In a published interview, Chinese COVID expert Zhong Nanshan remarked, “No matter how robust the prevention and control measures are, cutting off the transmission chain entirely will prove difficult.”

While the easing of restrictions is seen as a positive development, it has coincided with a rise in COVID-19 cases in China. As of Sunday, approximately 8,626 cases have been reported, although this marks a decrease from previous weeks. Local health authorities have raised concerns about the readiness of China’s medical facilities to handle a widespread outbreak of the virus.

On the other hand, some believe that given current knowledge and medical advancements, the country can effectively manage the virus. “I think many people in rural China may have misconceptions about the virus due to its exaggeration by the state over the past two years. This fear is one of the reasons for their anxiety,” stated Bob Li, a graduate student in Beijing, in an interview with CNN.

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