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Beijing loosens the “zero Covid” strategy: fewer tests and home quarantines

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Beijing loosens the “zero Covid” strategy: fewer tests and home quarantines

China announced on Wednesday a general relaxation of Covid restrictions, reducing mandatory requirements and testing frequency and allowing some positive cases to self-quarantine.

According to the new guidelines presented by the National Health Commission (NHC) in Beijing, “asymptomatic infected people and mild cases who can be isolated at home are now generally isolated at home” and the country “will further reduce the scope of tests on nucleic acids and will reduce the frequency of testing.”

The turning point after protests and the economic crisis

The turning point, now made official, had already been announced in recent days. The authorities had decided to review the “zero Covid” strategy in a less restrictive key to counter the street protests and the repercussions on the economy caused by the extended lockdowns.

Repercussions that are now also evident in the official data. In fact, China closed the month of November with a trade surplus of 69.84 billion dollars, about 10 less than analysts’ forecasts, discounting the weakening of external demand and above all the anti-Covid lockdowns on the domestic front, which affected consumption.

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According to data released by Chinese Customs, exports recorded an annual drop of 8.7% (against estimates of -3.5%), while imports recorded a 10.6% (against -6%) .

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