Sun, 05 Feb 2023

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BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Since China recently unveiled 10 prevention and control measures to further optimize its COVID-19 response, local governments have rolled out a raft of follow-up measures to push for normalcy and resume production and businesses.

Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have announced that they will delineate COVID-19 risk areas in a science-based and targeted manner. COVID-19 risk areas will be designated by building, unit, floor, and household, rather than by residential compound, community, subdistrict, and township. COVID-19 nucleic acid testing will be conducted among people working in high-risk positions or in high-risk areas, but others will be able to choose whether to be tested, according to the municipal health departments.

According to Beijing's new adjustment, asymptomatic carriers and cases with mild symptoms can undergo home quarantine if their living conditions allow, and close contacts should undergo five days of home quarantine.

At present, catering enterprises in Beijing have resumed dine-in services in an orderly manner. Starting from Wednesday, people will be required to show a negative nucleic acid test certificate within 48 hours of their test and undergo health code checks when entering restaurants, as part of the capital's efforts to better coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control with economic and social development.

Shanghai has made it clear that quarantine measures imposed on high-risk areas must be lifted if no new infections are reported for five consecutive days to reduce the impact of the pandemic on local people, Wu Jinglei, deputy director of the Shanghai municipal COVID-19 prevention and control office, told a press conference on Thursday.

Shanghai also said that people will not be subjected to mass testing according to their administrative regions.

From Thursday, those who visit or return to Shanghai will not need to take a nucleic acid test after arrival and will not experience restricted access to public venues, Wu said.

Apart from those in certain facilities, including nursing homes, medical institutions, primary and secondary schools and kindergartens, people in Shanghai will no longer be required to provide a negative nucleic acid test result to access indoor entertainment venues and restaurants.

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Shanghai and Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, have both ramped up their vaccination drive among the elderly. Vaccination services will be optimized through the establishment of special channels and temporary vaccination sites, and the deployment of mobile vaccination vehicles in the two cities.

Shanghai has said that, with the exception of high-risk areas, travel restrictions or business suspensions will not be imposed.

Guangzhou is giving full play to the role of primary-level medical institutions and family doctors to deliver targeted health services to key groups such as the elderly, children, and people with chronic diseases, said Zhang Yi, deputy director of the Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission.

Nanfang Hospital at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou on Wednesday opened an online COVID-19 clinic, offering inquiry services and medication guidance to the public.

In Urumqi, all kinds of large-scale shopping malls, supermarkets, commercial complexes, and large-scale markets, as well as accommodation and catering enterprises such as hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants, have resumed business.

As a series of optimized measures took effect, many cities resumed work at a fast pace. In Chongqing, for example, 6,974 of the city's 7,346 major industrial enterprises have resumed production by December 4.

"We are encouraging employees to return to work in an orderly manner, based on the improved COVID-19 prevention and control measures. Nearly 200 workers have returned to work and the company is expected to resume its normal business next week," said Zhang Jian, chairman of Toyou Data, an information technology company in Chongqing.

China's film market is also recovering. According to film data platform Maoyan, the operation rate of cinemas in several provinces exceeded 70 percent on Monday.

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