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China Eases Zero COVID...Sort Of
There has been a fair bit of hooplah surrounding China’s recent “easing” of its Zero COVID rules.
Which is something of a mystery because the core of Zero COVID has not changed, only travel-related restrictions.
China on Friday eased some of its draconian COVID rules, including shortening quarantines by two days for close contacts of infected people and for inbound travellers, and removing a penalty for airlines for bringing in too many cases.
The loosening of the rules, which came a day after China's new Politburo Standing Committee discussed COVID during a meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, cheered markets, with Shanghai's benchmark CSI 300 (.CSI300) jumping 3% and the yuan currency extending gains to a one-month high.
Even Beijing has acknowledged that there is no easing of Zero COVID rules forthcoming.
China will not relax its COVID-19 measures but will keep improving them according to the changing epidemic situation and mutation of the virus and will be more scientifically accurate in their implementation, a disease expert said.
China is very cautious in every adjustment it makes in its COVID policies, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Friday, citing Wang Liping, a researcher from the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Certainly the residents of Guangzhou are not seeing any easing of Zero COVID restrictions.
People in the Guangzhou’s Haizhu district were told to visit the nearest testing station but otherwise stay home, the district government announced on its social media account. One member of each household was allowed out to buy food.
Beijing is making it somewhat easier for individuals to travel to China. For people already in China, Zero COVID remains very much as it has been: onerous and ineffective.
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