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China cheers as government loosens anti-COVID rules

Updated on: 08 December,2022 09:36 AM IST  |  Beijing
Agencies |

“I expect China will fully reopen its border no later than mid 2023.” The announcement came after President Xi Jinping, who regards China’s relentless fight against COVID as one of his main achievements, chaired a meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo on Tuesday

China cheers as government loosens anti-COVID rules

A health worker tests a woman for COVID-19 in the Jing’an district in Shanghai Wednesday. Pic/AFP


China announced on Wednesday the most sweeping changes to its tough anti-COVID regime since the pandemic began three years ago, loosening rules that curbed the spread of the virus but had hobbled the world’s second largest economy and sparked protests. The relaxation of rules, which include allowing infected people with mild or no symptoms to quarantine at home and dropping testing for people travelling within the country, are the strongest sign yet that Beijing is preparing its 1.4 billion people to live with the disease. 


Though its borders remain mostly shut, citizens cheered the prospect of a shift that could see China slowly emerging back into a world three years after the virus erupted in the central city of Wuhan. The announcement quickly soared to the top most viewed topic on China’s Weibo platform, with many people cheering the prospect of travelling, though some expressed worries about the greater potential for infections. “It’s time for our lives to return to normal, and for China to return to the world,” wrote one Weibo user. Analysts too, welcomed the shift that could reinvigorate China’s sagging economy and currency and bolster global growth. “This change of policy is a big step forward,” said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. “I expect China will fully reopen its border no later than mid 2023.” The announcement came after President Xi Jinping, who regards China’s relentless fight against COVID as one of his main achievements, chaired a meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo on Tuesday. 



1.4bn
The population of China


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