As China eases COVID-19 curbs, virus fears grow

As China eases COVID-19 curbs, virus fears grow

BEIJING: As many Chinese embraced new freedoms on Thursday December 8 after the country dropped key parts of its tough zero-COVID regime, there was growing concern that a virus that had been kept in check could soon run wild.

Three years into the epidemic, many in China were eager for Beijing to align its rigid virus prevention measures with the rest of the world, which has largely opened up in an effort to live with the disease.

The biggest show of discontent since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012 was when the frustrations boiled over into widespread protests last month.

Without saying it was a response to the protests, some cities and regions began relaxing COVID 19 controls in a move that heralded a nationwide loosening of the rules unveiled by the National Health Commission on Wednesday.

The NHC said people with mild symptoms can now be quarantined at home and that there was no need for testing and health status checks on mobile apps for a variety of activities including travelling around the country.

According to state press, domestic ticket sales for tourist and leisure spots have soared, while some people took to social media to reveal they had tested positive for the disease, something that had previously been heavily stigmatised in China.

One post on the Weibo platform said COVID is not so 'horrifying' now, but it is still contagious and will hurt. The fear brought to our heart can't be dissipated easily. Too many positives! Another Weibo user said something.

Some manufacturers and restaurants in China are choosing to err on the side of caution by keeping COVID-19 curbs until they get a clearer picture of how workplaces will be affected by the easing of stringent measures.

It said on its WeChat account that Apple has lifted its closed-loop management controls on Thursday after Foxconn's COVID-hit Zhengzhou facility in China lifted its closed-loop management controls on Thursday.

The Zhengzhou Industrial Park where Foxconn is located has been closed-looping that has isolated the plant from the wider world for 56 days.