Hong Kong
The Sunday Review

It is a sprawling Chinese metropolitan area of Chongqing It was revealed Sunday that all public sector employees tested positive for Covid-19 can go to work “as normal,” It was a miraculous turnaround for a city that had just weeks earlier been under the grips of mass lockdown.

As China’s economic growth continues, this move is a welcome one to Quickly unravel the once-stringent zero-interest conditionCovid policy, with Local governments throughout the country relaxed costly regulations regarding testing, quarantine, and other pandemic strategies during a wide economic downturn.

“Asymptomatic and mildly ill employees of the (Communist Party) and government organizations at all levels, enterprises and institutions can go to work normally after taking protective measures as necessary for their health status and job requirements,” The Chongqing The pandemic response team said in a statement published on the municipal government’s website.

It added that government agencies would no longer check employees – including police, public school teachers and other workers – for daily negative Covid tests. The authorities will now shift the emphasis to work To prevent infection to It stated that health protection is essential for preventing serious diseases.

It is particularly striking in the abrupt U-turn Chongqing, one of China’s largest cities, with Annual GDP of $400 billion and 32 million inhabitants

Jerry Cheng is currently employed at the state-owned construction firm in the city. Covid Other than the positive comments, there were some concerns.

“I won’t go unless they call my name,” The Sunday Review was informed by him. “It’s definitely not a good thing to have a group of infected people working together,” He said that the updated policy had been added to his list. to Protect the local economy.

Cheng’s anxiety was reflected on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, on Monday as Chongqing Residents reacted to This announcement.

“Why do you need to go and infect healthy people?” One top comment. A user added: “This is going from one extreme to the other.”

Similar measures were also taken by several other Chinese places, such as the east city Wuhu, and Zhejiang province.

ChongqingIt was once a major hub of industry and agriculture. Covid hotspot last month. Over a million people were informed not to to You should not leave the city, but you can do so if absolutely necessary. There were also several rounds of mass testing every day.

When China’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan visited Chongqing She urged the local authorities to act on her request, 22 November. to Take “swift and decisive measures” to You can contain the spread of the disease by quickly identifying and contacting positive patients. to Global Times, a state-run publication

Some residents lost patience by that time. After three years of negative results, some residents were losing patience.Covid The economic downturn had an impact on daily life, disrupting the flow of money and affecting employment. people’s livelihoods.

Pictures from Chongqing The viral video, which showed huge numbers of people standing in the heat for long periods under the sun during August’s record heatwave and waiting for their mandatory cooling down time, went viral online. Covid tests. As the background, smoke plumes from wildfires rise above the city skyline.

In response to growing frustration, one Chongqing Late November, a resident gave a vehement speech criticizing the lockdown at his home. to a cheering crowd: “Without freedom, I would rather die!”

Protests across the nation against the zero-tolerance policyCovid policy – and in some cases, against the central leadership itself – broke out just days later, marking the most significant challenge to Communist Party Chinese Xi Jinping was the most influential leader in China’s history for many decades.

The country’s rapid rollback of Covid Shortly thereafter, there were restrictions. While the rules became more relaxed over time, like allowing for Covid patients to You can choose to stay at home and not be taken to A government quarantine centre is an important relief option for many. However, the rising number of cases has also caused anxiety in a large population who had been protected from the virus almost entirely since 2020.

According to Sunday Review calculation based on study from Hong Kong researchers released last week, the country’s Covid Over the period of its reopening, death could exceed one million.