China Drops Most COVID-19 Testing Following Protests

China began relaxing some of its COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, following large protests late last month in response to the country's rigorous "zero-COVID" policy.

China's National Health Commission said it will discontinue the frequent required testing for the bulk of the population and would no longer require negative tests in most public places, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, in the case of a positive test the government won't lock down entire apartment buildings and those who have COVID-19 infections won't need to isolate in state quarantine facilities.

Following nearly three years of stringent restrictions, the relaxation signifies a significant turn for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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Jinping faced unprecedented opposition in late November as thousands of protestors demonstrated against his "zero-COVID" approach in cities throughout China, with some openly calling for his resignation.

Despite many predictions, Beijing's withdrawal from its expensive and increasingly unpopular pandemic program has been more rapid than expected.

After years of being informed that COVID-19 was a serious threat, China's population was unprepared for a sudden reversal in policy at a time when infections reached a new high with outbreaks across the country.

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Photo: IHOR SULYATYTSKYY via Shutterstock

Posted In: GovernmentNewsHealth CareGlobalTop StoriesGeneralChinaCovid-19Xi Jinping