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China announces nationwide loosening of COVID restrictions

China allows COVID cases with no or mild symptoms to quarantine at home

This photo taken on March 6, 2022 shows a resident undergoing a nucleic acid test for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.
Image Credit: AFP

Beijing: China's national health authority said on Wednesday that asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and those with mild symptoms can self-treat while in quarantine at home, the strongest sign so far that China is preparing its people to live with the disease.

Most of the cases are asymptomatic infections and mild cases, with no special treatment required, the National Health Commission said in a statement.

"Asymptomatic persons and mild cases can be isolated at home while strengthening health monitoring, and they can transfer to designated hospitals for treatment in a timely manner if their condition worsens," the NHC said.

The 10 new measures include accelerating vaccination among the elderly and forbidding local officials to designate large areas, like entire housing compounds, as high-risk.