China entering ‘new stage and mission’ for Covid-19 controls, says official, following protests – CNN

by | Nov 30, 2022 | COVID-19


China’s most senior official in charge of its Covid response told health officials Wednesday that the country faced a “new stage and mission” in pandemic controls, state media Xinhua reported – potentially indicating an adjustment to Beijing’s “zero-Covid” strategy which has sparked days of nationwide protests.

“With the decreasing toxicity of the Omicron variant, the increasing vaccination rate and the accumulating experience of outbreak control and prevention, China’s pandemic containment faces new stage and mission,” Sun Chunlan, China’s vice premier, said Wednesday, according to Xinhua.

Making no mention of “zero-Covid,” her remarks, as reported by Xinhua, came a day after China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said the rectification of current pandemic measures is underway and local governments should “respond to and resolve the reasonable demands of the masses” in a timely manner.

In a meeting with the NHC on Wednesday, Sun also stated that a “human-centered approach” should be taken, and China should enhance its “diagnosis, testing, treatment and quarantine” measures, continue boosting vaccination rates – especially among the elderly people – and beef up medication and medical resources.

The softened rhetoric comes as officials in Guangzhou indicated an inching towards easing Covid-19 containment measures, after the southern metropolis saw protesters clash with police on Tuesday evening.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Zhang Yi, a spokesperson of Guangzhou’s health commission, said that the city has adjusted the designation of risk levels and pandemic containment measures – to a varying extent – in all its eleven districts.

Lockdowns in four districts – namely Liwan, Baiyun, Tianhe and Haizhu – have been lifted, while lockdowns remai …

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