Chinese government says Covid response weak, we are stronger

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Chinese government says Covid response weak, we are stronger

Financial markets were strengthened after Beijing dropped border controls after Beijing dropped the pandemic border controls in the latest easing of restrictions.

The relaxation of the country's borders on Sunday was one of the last steps in the dismantling of China's zero-Covid regime, which began last month after historic protests against three years of pandemic rules.

While Beijing s move to drop quarantine requirements is expected to boost outbound travel, many nations are demanding negative tests from visitors from China to contain an outbreak that is overwhelming many of China's hospitals and crematoriums.

The official Communist party, the People's Daily, wrote in an editorial praiseing the government's policies on Sunday, which it said had moved from preventing infection to preventing severe disease Today, the virus is weak, we are stronger. China's state news agency said the country had entered a new phase in its response to Covid.

China's top health officials and state media have repeatedly stated that Covid infections are peaking across the country and they are playing down the threat now posed by the disease.

China managed the virus as a Category A disease, like the bubonic plague and cholera, which is in stark contrast to the earlier regime of strict quarantines and lockdowns. On Sunday, China's management of Covid was downgraded to Category B, although many restrictions had been dropped weeks before.

As of January 8th, China had reported 5,272 deaths related to Covid, one of the lowest deaths from the disease in the world.

But the World Health Organization said China is under-reporting the scale of the outbreak and international health experts estimate that more than one million people could die this year from the disease.

Asian shares went up to a five-month high on Monday as investors bet that China's reopening would help revive the $17 trillion economy and boost global growth.

Harrold said he had been anticipating having to quarantine and do several rounds of testing on his return when he left for Europe for a Christmas break in early December.

State TV reported on Sunday that direct flights from South Korea to China were close to sold out.

The limited number of flights to and from China, which are currently at a small fraction of pre-Covid levels, will hinder a spike in demand from the region.

Korean Air said earlier this month that it was halting a plan to increase flights to China due to Seoul's cautious stance towards Chinese travellers. South Korea, like many other countries, requires travelers from China, Macau and Hong Kong to provide negative Covid test results before departure.

On Sunday, China had a total of 245 international flights combining inbound and outbound, compared to 2,546 flights on the same day in 2019, a decline of 91%, according to Flight Master data.

China's domestic tourism revenue is expected to recover to 70 -- 75% of pre-Covid levels in 2023, but there is a forecast of 30 -- 40% of pre-Covid levels this year, China News reported on Sunday.