China’s zero-COVID rules spark violent protests in Guangzhou | World News

Protesters clashed with police in China’s industrial metropolis of Guangzhou over strict measures against COVID-19, which put residents on lockdown.

Tensions are rising in the southern city, which is experiencing one of the worst COVID outbreaks since the pandemic began, and on Monday they reached a tipping point.

Dramatic footage shared online shows groups of people overturning a police vehicle and knocking over a fence in the Haizhu district, while confronting medical staff in blue shirts.

Police car overturned by protesters in Haizhou, China
A police car overturned by protesters in the Haizhu district in the city

Chinese-language media reported that protesters had gathered in the area to protest the city’s anti-COVID measures.

The county has been put in place strict stay-at-home measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, with Guangzhou recording more than 5,000 new cases in a single day.

The county government announced on its social media account that people have been asked to go to the nearest testing station, but otherwise should stay indoors.

Across the area, residents have also been told only one member per household is allowed to go out to buy food.

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A large-scale protest took place in a blockaded district called Haizhu
The COVID crackdown has seen communities confined to their homes and areas locked down

What is the no-COVID policy?

China’s ruling party has called for strict adherence to the “no COVID” policy across the country.

This strategy has seen millions of residents confined to their homes, subject to mass testing programs, and subject to abrupt lockdowns in areas where cases have been detected or close contacts of people. surname.

The number of COVID cases recorded in the country remains low by global standards, but some fear harsh restrictions are holding back the economy and keeping China out of sync with the rest. of the world.

A massive protest takes place in Haizhou, China
Protests took place in Guangzhou, China

How is the situation across the country?

On Saturday, health officials announced they would revise anti-virus controls, but that doesn’t mean they’ll end.

Under the changes, some foreign businessmen and athletes visiting China will be allowed to move in the restricted area without quarantine and rules on who is considered contact of an infected person. will be more focused, reducing the number of affected.

A massive protest took place in Haizhu, China
Tensions have been rising for days over the country’s Zero-COVID policy

“This is not relaxation, nor is it ‘laying still’, but more precise and scientific prevention and treatment,” said the deputy director of the country’s National Health Commission, Lei Haichao. added that the goal was to “contain the epidemic and minimize the impact on the economy”. and social development”.

Economists and public health experts say China’s capital Beijing could start easing COVID regulations by mid-2023, but tens of millions of elderly people need to be vaccinated before that measures to control foreign visitors ended.

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Nationwide, people who want to enter supermarkets and other public buildings must present a negative result of a virus test that is performed as often as once a day.

In the southwest, the industrial city of Chongqing has closed schools in the Beibei district, home to 840,000 people.

Residents were also banned from leaving a series of apartment blocks in the Yubei district, but authorities did not say how many apartment blocks were affected.


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