Following unprecedented protests towards the end of November, the Chinese state-run media claimed coronavirus is weakening and the protocols that are being followed to curb the spread of the pandemic could now be downgraded.
China since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 classified Covid-19 as a Category B infectious disease but managed it under protocols that fall under Category A.
Under these protocols, local authorities have the power to put patients and those who have been in close contact into quarantine and also shut down regions affected by the disease.
China classifies bubonic plague and cholera as Category A diseases and classifies SARS, AIDS and Anthrax as Category B diseases. Influenza, Leprosy and Mumps are classified as Category C diseases.
Any other infectious disease with high mortality rates are classified either as Class A or Class B diseases but are managed under the protocols devised under Class A.
The Guardian and other news agencies cited an infectious disease expert who said more than 95% of China’s current Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic and mild with low fatality rates.
The infectious disease expert also spoke to a Chinese state-run media outlet to whom he said that adhering to Class A management is not in line with science.
He told the Chinese media outlet Yicai that Covid could be downgraded to Category B or Category C management.
But the National Health Commission, China’s top health authority, will need approval from the State Council, or cabinet to make any adjustments to the management of infectious diseases.
Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said China faces a new situation as Omicron weakens. She became the first high-ranking official who publicly acknowledged that coronavirus’ ability to cause damage has lessened.
The public anger towards these restrictions have let to some changes but the authorities say that the “zero-Covid” strategy, which aims to isolate every infected person, is still in place.
Covid restrictions in China throughout the pandemic were managed by different levels of the government there which resulted in inconsistent and confusing rules.
The easing of the restrictions are also confusing businesses and residents.
Residents in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Shenzhen ended the
Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Shenzhen are among cities to end a requirement for negative test results in order to board public transport. Beijing told hospitals to stop refusing people with Covid negative results from entering. Zhejiang province has ended routine Covid tests entirely.
China is the last country on the planet to aim to cut off transmission of Covid through quarantines, lockdowns and mass testing. Low vaccination rates and lack of effectiveness of Chinese vaccines are also among the reasons why the government is fearful of a full reopening.
Read all the Latest News here