In less than a month, the Asian nation simplified many of the measures adopted and keeps taking on more flexible measures, aimed at guaranteeing socioeconomic growth and eradicating controversial practices that caused discomfort in the population and sparked unprecedented protests in November.
For example, authorities put an end to mass lockdowns, lifted domestic travel restrictions, stopped demanding PCR tests and also ruled out the semaphore-like codes to access any public sites, except for schools, health facilities and senior citizens clubs.
China now allows asymptomatic and other people to recover in their houses, freed the sale of medication used against Covid-19, started the second booster vaccination drive, plus authorizing the import of the U.S. pill Paxlovid.
Likewise, authorities are working on updating health protocols, which should be revealed shortly and are expected to benefit development, while observers say that this scenario could lead to a gradual reopening of borders.
But while the country is easing restrictive measures, at the same time it is experiencing such a high increase in the number of sick people and deathsthat it has forced former PCR testing sites to be turned into clinics to leave hospital care for the most complex cases.
Experts said that among the factors behind the rise in Covid-19 are the continuous mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the arrival of winter and the drop in the immune response in vaccinated people.
This is why, the government is setting up more intensive care units and all provinces are spending millions of dollars to supply their hospitals with equipment, such as artificial ventilators, large stocks of medicines and other materials needed to treat seriously ill patients.
Likewise, they have come up with training more health staff, increase the availability of intensive care rooms in each institution and ensure such services in rural areas, since this is where there is the largest deficit of resources.
According to official numbers, China only has 130 100 beds in intensive care units, 80 500 doctors and 220 000 nurses specialized in that area.
Such data are worrying because they are predicting that in the three waves that are coming between December and mid-March, 2023, there will be more than 124 million positive cases, out of which 2.7 million will be seriously ill.