(CTN News) – The number of new COVID-19 infections recorded in China on Saturday was at its highest since late April, a day after Beijing launched a slew of measures, including shorter quarantines, to lessen the effect of its strict zero-COVID policy.
The strict regulations harmed the second-largest economy in the world, affecting business operations and aggravating locals with lockdowns, quarantines, regular testing, and travel delays.
Comparatively, China lists 1,209 symptomatic and 9,520 asymptomatic illnesses separately, totalling 10,729 new cases a day earlier.
Investors were encouraged by Friday’s loosened restrictions, which included a shorter quarantine period for incoming travellers and those who had intimate contact with sick individuals.
These were reduced from ten days to eight, the first five of which were spent in a centralized facility.
In addition, China would no longer attempt to find “secondary” connections, a technique that included many urban people in contact tracing operations once a case was discovered, while still identifying close relationships.
However, as some major cities report increasing case numbers, the financial giant Goldman Sachs said it continues perceiving adverse risks to near-term economic development.
According to a statement released on Friday, “the adjustments to the quarantine period from ‘7+3’ to ‘5+3’ are negligible in terms of economic effect.
The statement referred to the annual parliamentary gatherings and said: “However, the signal that the top leadership is preparing for an exit from three years of zero-COVID policy at some point next year – in our view, most likely soon after the ‘Two Sessions’ are held in March – seems clear and important.”
China reported 11,803 new local cases, up from 10,535 the previous day, of which 1,452 were symptomatic, and 10,351 were asymptomatic, excluding imported infections.
Guangzhou, a roughly 19 million-person city in the south, recorded 3,180 locally transmitted diseases on Friday, up from 2,583 the day before.
According to local government statistics, the capital of Beijing recorded 68 symptomatic and 48 asymptomatic cases compared to 64 symptomatic and 54 asymptomatic instances the day before.
Daily testing is encouraged in several city sections, but economic interruptions have not stopped. The upscale SKP retail centre in the expansive Chaoyang area of the city announced that it was closed on Saturday to implement COVID control and preventive measures.
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