New Chinese COVID rules are causing concern as they halt routine testing in some cities

New Chinese COVID rules are causing concern as they halt routine testing in some cities
Written by admin

  • Already regulate COVID testing in several cities
  • China eased its fight against a variety of viruses last Friday
  • Communities worried about the spread of the virus under relaxed rules
  • Major cities, including Beijing, are reporting recorded cases for November 13

BEIJING, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Several Chinese cities began cutting routine community COVID-19 testing on Monday, days after China announced an easing of some tough coronavirus measures, sparking concern in some communities as cases continued to rise nationwide. it happened

In the northern city of Shijiazhuang, some families expressed concern about their children being exposed to the virus at school, citing excuses such as toothaches or earaches for their children’s absence, according to social media posts after state media reported that testing in the city would end.

Other cities, including Yanji in the northeast and Hefei in the east, said they would end daily community COVID testing, ending a practice that has become a huge financial burden on communities across China, according to official notices.

On Friday, the National Health Commission updated its COVID regulations in the most significant way mitigation Despite China sticking to its zero-COVID policy nearly three years after the pandemic, restrictions still remain, describing the changes as an “optimization” of measures to mitigate the impact on people’s lives.

The move, which cuts quarantine times for close contacts of cases and arriving travelers from two days to just eight, was welcomed by investors, although many experts do not expect China to begin easing significantly until March or April at the earliest.

The changes come as several major cities, including Beijing, reported record infections on Monday, challenging authorities as they scramble to contain outbreaks quickly while trying to minimize the impact on lives and the economy.

Some areas of Beijing require daily tests.

Anxiety and confusion in Shijiazhuang were the top five topics on Weibo, like Twitter.

Zhang Chaochao, the city’s Communist Party chief, said the “optimization” of prevention measures should not be seen as an expression of the authorities’ “sleeping flat” – inaction, nor is Shijiazhuang moving toward “complete freedom” from COVID.

The city, about 295 km (183 miles) southwest of Beijing, reported 544 infections on Sunday, only three of which it classified as symptomatic.

“I’m a little afraid. In the future, nucleic acid tests will not be viewed in public, and nucleic acid testing stations will also be closed, and everyone should pay for the tests,” one Weibo user wrote, referring to Shijiazhuang.

Gavekal Research said in a note on Monday that it was an “interesting time” for China to ease its COVID policies: “The combination of an intensifying epidemic and weakening central demands has led to debate over whether China is now gradually shifting to a de facto policy of tolerating Covid,” Gavekal Research said in a note on Monday.


Nationwide, the National Health Commission reported 16,072 new local infections, up from 14,761 on Sunday and the most in China since April 25, when Shanghai battled an outbreak that shut down the city for two months.

Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Zhengzhou recorded their worst days so far, although the number in the capital was a few hundred cases, while other cities counted in the thousands.

The number of cases is small compared to infection levels in other countries, but China’s insistence on cleaning up outbreaks as they emerge with a zero-covid policy has been widely disruptive to daily life and the economy.

Individuals, neighborhoods and public places may still be subject to lockdowns under new rules announced Friday, but the health commission has eased some measures.

In addition to shortening quarantines, secondary close contacts are no longer identified and isolated – eliminating a major concern for people caught up in contact tracing efforts when a case is discovered.

Despite the easing of borders, many experts have characterized the measures as incremental, with some predicting that China may not reopen until after the March session of parliament, at the earliest.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said on Monday that increasing cases in cities including Guangzhou and Chongqing and continued zero-covid-19 policies are lowering near-term economic risks.

Reporting by Liz Li, Jason Xue, Wang Jing and Ryan Woo; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore, Tony Munroe and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About the author


Leave a Comment