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COVID Claims 2 More Deaths in China As Some Curbs Relaxed

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China Claims 2 More COVID Deaths As Some Curbs Relaxed

(CTN NEWS) – COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in China as some cities ease anti-pandemic restrictions following increasingly vocal public protests.

According to the National Health Commission, a death was reported in Shandong and Sichuan provinces. There was no information about the victims’ ages or vaccination status.

As of late 2019, China is the last major country trying to completely stop the spread of the virus via quarantines, lockdowns, and mass testing.

In its determination to stick to its hard-line strategy, the ruling Communist Party is believed to be motivated by concerns over vaccination rates.

According to the commission, nine out of ten Chinese have been vaccinated, but only 66% of people over 80 have gotten one shot and 40% a booster. According to the report, 86% of people over 60 are vaccinated.

In light of these figures and the fact that relatively few Chinese have built up antibodies to the virus, some fear millions could die if restrictions are completely lifted.

Although authorities say the “zero-COVID” strategy – which aims to isolate every infected person – remains in place despite public anger, some of the more onerous restrictions appear to have been lifted.

China Claims 2 More COVID Deaths As Some Curbs Relaxed

A man wearing a face mask holds his testing tube as masked residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

Demonstrations erupted in the northwestern city of Urumqi on Nov. 25 after a fire in an apartment building killed at least 10 people.

That led to angry questions online about whether firefighters or victims trying to escape were blocked by locked doors or anti-virus controls. Public frustration grew over the deaths, which were denied by authorities.

In Shanghai and Beijing, protesters demanded an easing of COVID-19 curbs for several days.

Some demanded Xi Jinping’s reelection, a rare show of public dissent in a society controlled nearly completely by the Communist Party.

For the first time in months, riders in Beijing and some other Chinese cities can board buses and subways without a virus test.

Residents in Beijing have complained that most public venues still require COVID-19 tests despite the city shutting many testing stations.

China Claims 2 More COVID Deaths As Some Curbs Relaxed

A woman has her routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

During the past 24 hours, China has reported 35,775 cases, 31,607 of which were asymptomatic, bringing its total to 336,165 with 5,235 deaths.

Although many have questioned the accuracy of the Chinese figures, they remain relatively low compared to the U.S. and other nations that are now relaxing restrictions.

They are trying to live with the virus that has killed at least 6.6 million people worldwide and sickened almost 650 million.

Despite its low infection rates, China still requires mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers.

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