China changed its regulations on isolating nCoV infections, loosening restrictions on testing and travel, a sign that the country may relax its “No Covid” policy.
“People with no symptoms or mild symptoms can be isolated at home, while strengthening health monitoring and can be transferred to a designated hospital for timely treatment in case of serious illness,” the commission said. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in today’s directive.
According to the nationwide directive, asymptomatic Covid-19 cases are isolated at home for 7 days, instead of having to go to a centralized treatment facility. Close contacts are also quarantined at home for 5 days.
China will also increase the use of rapid test kits instead of PCR tests. PCR testing is only available to people in high-risk areas and to individuals who volunteer.
Areas zoned as high risk of epidemic should be identified by building, floor or apartment, officials should not arbitrarily extend the blockade to the entire apartment complex or residential group.
The NHC’s directive also requires officials at all levels to stop arbitrarily imposing temporary blockades, and end the requirements for testing and medical codes for people traveling between provinces, signaling that Chinese can move more freely during the upcoming Lunar New Year.
People no longer need to present a negative PCR test result or a medical code to enter public places or transport, except when entering a hospital, school or nursing home.
This is considered the clearest sign that China can relax the “No Covid” policy that has been strictly applied for the past time. According to the “No Covid” policy, all Covid-19 cases and close contacts are placed in a centralized isolation facility. Areas where cases are detected can be locked down for days or weeks.
The NHC added that these changes reflect adjustments in anti-epidemic measures based on the variation of the virus.
According to the new anti-epidemic policy, if an epidemic cluster breaks out in a school, the school needs to accurately locate the places at risk, ensuring that teaching and learning still take place normally in other areas.
Schools that have not recorded Covid-19 cases will operate normally, while supermarkets, cafes, gyms and libraries will also be open.
NHC suggested that localities resolutely implement simplified and appropriate anti-epidemic measures, while eliminating and overcoming “formalism and bureaucracy”.
The new directive also requires not restricting the movement, labor and production of people in areas with low risk of nCoV spread. People working in essential sectors such as hospitals, public safety, transport, supermarkets or electricity are also proposed to be exempt from the usual restrictions and be managed differently.
Chinese officials also suggested speeding up the Covid-19 vaccination program for the elderly, especially those over 60 years old.
The NHC’s announcement quickly became the most-viewed topic on China’s Weibo social network, with many people expressing joy at the prospect of being able to travel more comfortably, despite some concerns about the dangers. increased chance of infection.
“It’s time for us to return to normal life, and China to return to the world,” wrote one Weibo user.
“This policy change is a big step forward,” said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management in Hong Kong. “I hope China will fully reopen its borders by mid-2023.”
For nearly three years, China has implemented strict Covid-19 control measures such as border closures, large-scale blockade, mass testing and infection tracing, with the goal of bringing infections down to zero. .
However, this strategy has so far failed to prevent outbreaks in some Chinese cities and municipalities, especially with the highly contagious Omicron strain. The country in late November recorded a record number of new infections for several days in a row, prompting people in some Chinese cities to gather, calling for the lifting of prolonged blockade measures that put pressure on life. living.
China has so far recorded nearly 350,000 infections and more than 5,200 deaths from nCoV, according to NHC.
From : Shoptml