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Expert: China could return to pre-pandemic normality after March 2023

Shanghai (China), 12 Dec. China could return to a ‘normal’ situation regarding the covid around the second quarter of 2023, predicted the renowned epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, quoted by the local press.

Given the growing spread of the coronavirus after the withdrawal of many of the restrictions of the national ‘zero covid’ policy, Zhong used the current outbreak in Guangzhou (southeast) as an example and advanced that its peak will reach the end of January -the date on which Chinese New Year will be celebrated, the main festive time of the year- or mid-February.

Although the expert described it as “highly unlikely” that the government will limit travel during this period, as it has been doing for the past three years, he did recommend that the Chinese get booster doses of anti-covid vaccines to increase their level of protection before traveling to their places of origin to participate in traditional family reunions.

Zhong also urged citizens to continue to wear masks and not to panic-buy excessive amounts of medication, as has been seen recently in multiple cities across the country.

In recent days, the official press has begun to minimize the risk of the omicron variant through numerous articles and interviews with experts, a turn of argument that accompanies the relaxation of some of the strictest measures of the ‘zero’ policy. covid’, in force for almost three years.

The authorities have already stated that the “conditions” are in place for the country to “adjust” its measures in this “new situation” in which the virus causes fewer deaths, although they have also announced a plan to speed up vaccination of the elderly, one of the most vulnerable groups but at the same time more reluctant to be inoculated.

The Executive will allow those infected with asymptomatic or mild symptoms to isolate themselves in their homes -until now transfer to a quarantine center was mandatory- and indicated that it will no longer be necessary to have a negative covid test to enter most places and establishments , with the exception of hospitals or schools.

The changes came after the weariness of the restrictions crystallized in protests in various parts of the country after the death of ten people in an apparently confined building in Urumqi (northwest), with slogans such as “I don’t want PCR, I want to eat” or “give me back my freedom”.

The Government defends that it has saved millions of lives through the ‘zero covid’, which consists of the isolation of all those infected and their close contacts, strict border controls, partial or total confinement in places where cases are detected and constant PCR tests to the urban population. EFE

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