Major Chinese cities on Thursday announced a further easing of COVID restrictions, as police continued to patrol streets to avert protests and the ruling Communist Party prepared for the funeral of late leader Jiang Zemin. Guangzhou in the south, Shijiazhuang in the north, Chengdu in the southwest and other major cities announced they were easing testing requirements and controls on movement, as the Associated Press reported. In some areas, markets and bus service has reopened.
In Beijing, officials will let those infected patients who are at low risk to quarantine at home for a week, rather than in a government center, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. China has required anyone with any degree of COVID to stay at those sites to cut transmission. The first signs of the shift have been seen in the heavily populated Chaoyang district, home to foreign embassies and offices. Read now: Protests against strict COVID-zero policy are sweeping China but there is no sign yet of a national political movement Beijing is hoping to avoid more protests, while resources are also getting thin, those sources said. However, anyone wanting to isolate at home will have to provide a written guarantee to stay at home, with a magnetized alarm fitted on their door that will alert authorized if they try to leave, one source said. Bloomberg was unable to confirm the reports with officials from Beijing or its health department.
Large protests erupted across China as crowds voiced their frustration at nearly three years of Covid-19 controls. Here’s how a deadly fire in Xinjiang sparked domestic upheaval and a political dilemma for Xi Jinping’s leadership. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters