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China eases Covid restrictions in Beijing, hints at possible change in stance: Report

New DelhiEdited By: Sayan GhoshUpdated: Dec 01, 2022, 09:54 PM IST
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Photograph:(AFP)

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In the past few days, several cities saw protests regarding the fresh set of restrictions and some of them even turned violent in Guangzhou as the police clashed with protesters on the streets. It has also promoted responses from the United States and Canada who urged China to not use any kind of force against the protesters. 

The Chinese government has decided to ease COVID-19 restrictions as part of the Zero-Covid initiative as Beijing will allow some infected people to isolate at home. The Chaoyang district – one of the most densely populated districts – will be the first place where the concessions will be tested and according to a report on Bloomberg, the infected individuals will not have to travel to government quarantine sites. This will be a massive step for the authorities after the cities of Guangzhou and Chongqing announced an easing of restrictions in the aftermath of widespread protests. 

In the past few days, several cities saw protests in opposition to the fresh set of restrictions and some of them even turned violent in Guangzhou as the police clashed with protesters on the streets. It has also promoted responses from the United States and Canada who urged China to not use any kind of force against the protesters. 

The new rules reportedly will allow people to quarantine at home after signing a letter committing to not going outside during the period and having a sensor fitted on their doors. However, there will be some respite for the elderly or pregnant women who will find it difficult to travel to a facility. 

While the announcement will come as good news for the citizens, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Chinese capital continue to rise. On Wednesday, Beijing recorded 5006 cases – most in recent times. 

Outgoing Vice Premier Sun Chunlan met national health officials and said that the country is “new stage and mission” as the government may look to alter its course slightly on the Covid issue 

“As the omicron variant becomes less pathogenic, more people get vaccinated and our experience in Covid prevention accumulates, our fight against the pandemic is at a new stage and it comes with new tasks,” she said during the meeting, according to state media outlet Xinhua.