China Loosens COVID Quarantine, Testing Rules

    Photo: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • China announced on Wednesday sweeping changes to its "zero-COVID" policy, entailing a nationwide loosening of restrictions amid unprecedented protests. Per China's National Health Commission (NHC), this includes people with mild symptoms now being allowed to quarantine at home.

    • Over the past few days, Chinese authorities have begun loosening some of the world's most stringent COVID curbs to varying degrees and softening their tone on the threat of the virus. On Tuesday, residents in Beijing were allowed back into parks, supermarkets, offices, and airports without a negative COVID test.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Localities across China are dynamically using new information to craft a science-based and targeted response to the COVID pandemic. Leaders and scientists are collaborating to ensure the optimal measures that limit restrictions on citizens while also prioritizing the health and safety of vulnerable populations within China. This has led to easing restrictions with focused care as society returns to normal.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's clear that many people in China are tired of the increasingly ineffective zero-Covid strategy, and the world is bracing for the worst. While the protests have put pressure on Beijing, the PRC's use of ineffective non-mRNA vaccines could make for a national and even global health crisis. China is now stuck in the volatile position to overwhelm its extremely fragile healthcare system or continue to face public outcry over draconian policies.

    Nerd narrative

    According to the Metaculus Prediction Community, China will end Covid Zero by May 8, 2023.

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