China reports 112 new cases; Beijing rolls back mandatory vaccine plans

Beijing, Jul 9 (EFE).- China reported 112 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, including 67 local infections, the national health commission said Saturday, as the country continues to struggle with a wave of outbreaks.

Amid the ongoing outbreaks, authorities in the capital Beijing have rolled back plans to impose compulsory vaccine mandates on residents after a public outcry on social media.

The infections, driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, are putting Beijing’s ‘zero Covid’ policy of completely eliminating the virus – rather than living with it – under severe strain.

A total of 343 asymptomatic local cases, including 304 local infections, were found, although the Chinese authorities do not count them as confirmed cases, while some 2,666 asymptomatic people were under observation.

The remaining 45 cases reported on Saturday were found in international travelers at various points of entry into the country.

There are just 938 active coronavirus cases in mainland China, with one person in serious condition.

Over the past three months, China has struggled with omicron-driven outbreaks causing infection rates that have not been seen since the start of the pandemic.

Beijing city authorities announced they were adjusting plans to make vaccination certificates mandatory to access public spaces, instead requiring a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, after an outcry online on Thursday.

A Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention representative told local media that the city will adhere to the principles established by the Chinese government of “informed consent and voluntary vaccination”.

Beijing authorities stated on Thursday that the requirements to access public spaces would be “scanning a tracking QR code, taking a temperature and showing a negative PCR in the previous 72 hours”, the same measures that are currently in force in the capital.

According to the capital’s citizen service phone number consulted by Efe, the vaccine requirement will not be applied for the moment since it is a policy that needs “certain adjustments.” EFE


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