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China: Beijing lives with the coronavirus after the relaxation of the “Zero COVID” policy

Beijing lives immersed in its worst outbreak of coronavirus covid-19 since the pandemic began, largely due to the sudden relaxation of the strict anti-pandemic measures adopted by the authorities after protests in several Chinese cities due to discontent over the “zero covid” policy.

Last Wednesday China announced a series of measures that instead of reinforcing the draconian restrictions that have governed China for almost three years, loosened the conditions with a clear intention to start living with the virus.

LOOK: China announces general relaxation of strict COVID-19 restrictions

These developments fully affected cities, such as Beijing either Canton (South), which counted thousands of infected daily.

The disappearance of the artificial barriers created by the policies of the Chinese Government has caused the omicron variantthe most contagious and the cause of most outbreaks in the country since the beginning of this year, has created an unimaginable situation just a few months ago.


The National Health Commission The Asian giant reported today 10,815 new positive cases throughout the country, of which 1,661 occurred in the capital.

Some figures in Beijing that have been repeated to a greater or lesser extent since the last week of November, although the evidence suggests that, in recent days, since the relaxation of anti-covid policies, there are many more uncounted cases in the city.

LOOK: Shanghai will no longer require negative PCR of less than 48 hours to access public places

“In the Wechat group – the most used messaging application in China – of the community where I live, every few hours a new neighbor sends an emoticon of a sheep, which these days represents being infected by the similarity in the pronunciation of both words” , confessed to EFE a Venezuelan resident in the capital of 22 million people where everyone seems to know someone who contracted covid.

The reduction in the frequency of PCR tests to the population and the use of home antigen tests to detect positive cases, infections in the latter case often not reported, have made the real situation in the capital far from the official figures provided by Beijing.

In addition, residents of the city must face a shortage of antigen tests in pharmacies, which sometimes requires a wait of between three and five days to receive the kits and be tested.


Since the current outbreak began in the Chinese capital, most restaurants and bars remained closed, but open shops and malls allowed for some vitality on the streets.

Since last Wednesday, with the announcement of the new measures, many are the places that have reopened their doors in the busy neighborhood of Sanlitun after weeks without operating, but today the influx of people is far from normal for a Sunday.

A situation, learning to live with the virus, which will positively affect the economy of the Asian giant, according to some experts.

“The transition from thezero covid‘ will eventually allow consumer spending patterns to return to normal, but increased risk of infection will keep personal spending depressed for months after reopening,” Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics, said in a statement.

The economy of China It can grow 1.6% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, and 4.9% in the second, according to an analysis by Capital Economics.

The restrictions within the ‘zero covid’ policy at the national level have almost disappeared, but international borders remain mostly closed to travelers from abroad.

Travelers entering the country are subject to five days of quarantine at centralized government facilities and an additional three days of self-monitoring at home, though in-home monitoring depends on increasingly lax neighborhood authorities, raising hope. among many residents who have not left China for almost three years, waiting for the disappearance of these quarantines.

Source: Elcomercio

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