News Desk: Chinese authorities have signaled an easing of strict restrictions across the country following nationwide protests calling for an end to the lockdown and greater political freedom.
Protests erupted in major cities, including the capital Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, this week in anger at the Chinese government's zero-covid policies - which include mass lockdowns, mass Covid testing and even quarantine for those not infected. In some places, there were clashes with the police. The situation has signaled Chinese officials are working on easing strict restrictions.
According to state news agency Xinhua, in a meeting of China's National Health Commission on Wednesday, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said that the ability of the corona virus to cause disease is weakening. Omicron variants are becoming weaker and vaccination rates have also increased. Therefore, it has been decided to lift strict restrictions in areas where there is less risk.
Restrictions have already been eased to varying degrees in 11 districts of the city, including the Haizhou district of the southern Chinese megacity Guangzhou, where protests and clashes between police and protesters erupted on Tuesday night.
Schools there have been allowed to resume classes and other businesses, including restaurants and cinemas, will reopen, a district official in Guangzhou said. Restrictions were also eased in the country's central city of Chongqing on Wednesday.
It should be noted that a fire broke out in a high-rise block in the western Chinese city of Urumqi last Thursday. 10 people died. After that, protests became more intense across the country. Complaints against the government that people could not leave the Jalant Bhavan due to the strict restrictions of Covid. However, the local authorities have rejected this complaint.