China to allow home quarantine for people with mild covid

Beijing, Dec 7 (EFE).- China will allow several people with mild covid symptoms and asymptomatic cases that meet a set of conditions to isolate themselves at homes instead of hospitals and quarantine centers, as has been happening for almost three years, state broadcaster CCTV reported Wednesday.

This development comes as a part of new measures announced by the State Council, or the Executive, to ease the stringent “zero covid” policy that has been in place since the outbreak of the pandemic.

With the exception of places such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools, there will be no need to show a PCR test report to access public places.

A negative PCR report was mandatory to access public places, especially in recent months, which led to protests in several cities over the past week, which led many of the cities to relax these measures.

Among the most severe measures under the previous zero covid policy were mandatory PCR tests on the urban population multiple times a week, and the quarantine of all infected individuals and their close contacts, often in centers with poor sanitary condition.

The new measures is also the prohibition of “blocking doors,” in which buildings with infected people would be sealed off to contain the infection, something that was raised in the protests following a fire in the city of Urumqi.

Around the end of November, 10 people died in a fire in a residential building in Urumqi.

Several people attributed the deaths to an alleged blockage of the escape routes, although it was denied by the authorities.

The incident sparked outrage across the country and unleashed a wave of protests in major cities.

According to the new protocols, the detection of a positive case in a home cannot result in sealing off the entire building, area or neighborhood, but only the affected dwelling.

The State Council also stressed on the need to “accelerate” the vaccination of the elderly, one of the most vulnerable groups but also one of the most reluctant to be vaccinated.

The new set of guidelines also stipulates that classes will be face-to-face unless cases are detected at school and that canteens and sports centers in educational institutions must function normally.

Last week, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, in charge of overseeing the zero covid policy, underlined the low pathogenicity of the virus and the high vaccination rate of more than 90 percent among the population.

A total 5,235 people have died in China due to the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to official figures. Meanwhile, multiple studies have underlined that the Zero Covid policy has saved many lives. EFE


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