China is likely to relax some of its very stringent zero-Covid regulations after protests in several cities calling for an end to the stringent Covid norms, as stated by one of the senior Chinese officials on Thursday.
The Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, the senior most Chinese official overseeing the Covid strategies said that the country needs to come up with newer strategies as the Omicron variant has become less pathogenic and more and more people are getting vaccinated.
Thereby sharing experiences regarding the control of the virus. This news was shared to the official news agency Xinhua.
The announcement was made during a meeting among national health officials on Wednesday.
Sun’s remark comes in the backdrop of the countrywide Covid outbreak that was the worst across the globe hitting China’s largest cities like Beijing and Guangzhou.
Sun is currently the highest official in charge of Covid matters and she acknowledged that the Omicron variant has become less virulent and hence the restrictions could become more flexible in the coming days.
Xinhua quoted Sun and said that ‘optimisation’ of COVID-19 control regulations would still prevail.
She said that with people at the center, the prevention and control work must progress and the policies must continue to be optimized in small steps without coming to a complete stop.
As per Sun’s speech and other easing of Covid measures in Guangzhou, it is thought that the zero Covid policies will end in the next coming few months, as stated by Nomura’s Chief China Economist Ting Lu to CNBC.
A number of cities have already eased requirements like testing negative in Covid tests to enter public spaces, even though there are still a number of cases being reported on daily infections.
The districts of the city of Guangzhou, which were the worst hit among the cities, issued a notice on Wednesday to alter the control measures as per Global Times. It reported that close contact with those who meet the conditions will be quarantined at home and several other districts will also lift restrictions in temporary control zones.
Lockdown was also lifted from a number of other districts in Shanghai on Thursday.
Beijing has also optimized its testing rules and directed its residents to not engage in social activities so that they no longer need to take tests if they did not leave their homes.
This includes people who are homebound like the seniors, children and people working or studying from home.
Beijing on Wednesday reported over 5000 cases that was a record breaker since the pandemic started three years ago.
China in total reported 36,061 new Covid infections out of which 4150 were symptomatic as stated in the national health commission (NHC) daily bulletin on Thursday .