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Zero Covid: China relents, eases curbs to contain mass agitation against Xi regime

Zero Covid: China relents, eases curbs to contain mass agitation against Xi regime

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Virendra Pandit 

 

New Delhi: Rattled to the core because of widespread mass agitations against Zero Covid policy and the Communist regime led by President Xi Jinping, China on Wednesday eased many pandemic restrictions, allowed some people to quarantine at home rather than in centralized camps, and scrapped compulsory test requirements to enter most public venues, the media reported.

This is viewed as the Chinese government’s climb down in a sharp change in the national strategy to quell public discontent and reignite the decelerating economy again.

The 10 fresh measures include speeding up vaccination among the elderly and forbidding local officials to designate large areas, like entire housing compounds, as high-risk. These moves are beside the first round of 20 measures taken a month ago to ease Covid’s control. Together, the reports said these measures reflect the mounting pressure on the President and the ruling party.

The switch to home isolation was first started in Beijing after quarantine facilities in the national capital ran out of space when infections surged multifold in recent weeks. In some places, irate mobs set fire to quarantine centers.

China’s state-controlled propaganda had painted Covid-19 as fearsome and other countries’ attempts to live with the virus as a moral failing. But as various countries moved past the pandemic, many Chinese questioned why they were stuck with the government’s approach, raising pressure on the authoritarian regime.

Protests eventually spilled into streets in cities and some universities around the country, with some demonstrators calling for Xi to step down.

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