China Blinks, Softens COVID Rules After Protests, Clashes With Police

  • China is softening its tone on the severity of COVID-19 and easing some coronavirus restrictions after anger over the world’s toughest pandemic curbs triggered protests in several cities across the country, some of which led to clashes with police.
  • With daily cases remaining near record levels even after prolonged lockdowns, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, who oversees the country’s coronavirus response, said on Wednesday that the virus’s ability to cause disease was weakening.
  • “The country is facing a new situation and new tasks in epidemic prevention and control as the pathogenicity of the Omicron virus weakens, more people are vaccinated and experience in containing the virus is accumulated,” state media reported Sun as saying.