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China gradually eases lockdown measures

Posted December. 02, 2022 07:37,   

Updated December. 02, 2022 07:37


Chinese authorities are gradually easing lockdown measures against COVID-19. According to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency on Thursday, the full lockdown of Guangzhou, the southern city with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, was partially lifted on the same day. Only buildings with confirmed cases were managed as high-risk areas, while other areas have been adjusted to low-risk areas. Until Wednesday, most citizens in Guangzhou couldn’t leave their homes. It has been two days since the Guangzhou protesters were cracked down on by firing tear gas at the police.

As the full blockade was lifted, Guangzhou train stations and bus terminals, including South Station, were crowded with migrant workers who had been stranded all at once to return to their hometowns. Guangzhou universities are also starting their vacation early and sending students home.

Bloomberg reported that Beijing, the capital, has changed the previously forced isolation of confirmed patients in facilities, and now allows self-isolation if symptoms are minimal. Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, which is close to Beijing, will also be managed differently in the six districts locked down en masse and resume production activities according to the situation. Within a week, it was decided to resume the operation of commercial facilities that had been completely banned and to allow eating in restaurants.

Kunming, Yunnan Province issued a lockdown release notice and said that even if a lockdown is introduced, it should be locked down and lifted quickly to minimize the impact on residents' lives. Chongqing, where the number of infected people has recently increased, also announced that it would implement differentiated control measures. Shenyang, Liaoning Province, which had been completely blocked for a week, allowed people to eat at restaurants on Thursday.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is also being eased. Guangzhou, Chongqing, and Shenzhen announced on the same day that only those with high-risk occupations and key personnel would be subjected to PCR testing. The city of Chongqing said that repeat and additional PCR tests would not be allowed. Some shopping malls in Beijing resumed business on Thursday, allowing those with negative PCR test certificates (tested within 48 hours) to shop.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com