May 29, 2024


The Legal System

Understanding a New Era of Strategic Competition

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

BEIJING: More Chinese cities, including Urumqi in the far west, announced an easing of coronavirus curbs on Sunday as China tries to make its zeroCovid policy more targeted and less onerous after unprecedented protests against restrictions last weekend. The country on Sunday reported two additional Covid-19 deaths in the provinces of Shandong and Sichua, the National Health Commission said. No information was given about the ages of the victims or whether they had been fully vaccinated.
Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region and where the protests first erupted, will reopen malls, markets, restaurants and other venues from Monday, authorities said, ending strict lockdowns after months.
There was no sign of any significant unrest this weekend, although police were out in force in the Liangmaqiao area of Beijing and in Shanghai around Wulumuqi Road. Both sites saw protests a week ago.
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”, authorities said on Sunday. Karaoke bars, salons, internet cafes and other indoor venues can reopen but must check for a negative 48-hour Covid test result.
In Shanghai from Monday a negative Covid test will no longer be required to take public transport and visit parks,authorities said on Sunday. Elsewhere both Nanning and Wuhanon Sunday cancelled a requirement for a negative Covid test to take the subway. Guangzhou’s Haizhu districtsaid henceforth it advises people with no Covid symptoms not to get tested for the virus unless they belong to certain special groups such as frontline workers, or those with a red or yellow code. On Saturday in Beijing, authorities said the purchase of fever, cough andsore throat medicines no longer required registration.
Some inconsistencies have angered people, including a requirement in some places for a negative test even though mass testing centres were closing. In Beijing and Wuhan that caused lengthy queues at the few remaining testing booths. New daily case numbers dropped nationwide to 31,824, authorities said on Sunday, which may be due in part to fewer people being tested.