China will now allow people with asymptomatic COVID-19 or mild symptoms to quarantine at home in another relaxation of its rules.

More covid the cases are asymptomatic infections and mild cases, with no special treatment required, the National Health Commission said.

Previously, people who tested positive for the virus had to isolate themselves in overcrowded and unsanitary field hospitals.

It’s the biggest sign that China prepares his people to live with the disease.

“Asymptomatic people and mild cases can be isolated at home while health surveillance is strengthened, and they can be transferred to designated hospitals for timely treatment if their condition worsens,” the NHC said.

Earlier this year, entire communities were locked down – sometimes for weeks – after a single positive case was identified.

Less stringent rules last month meant only affected buildings were locked down.

The NHC said high-risk areas should be defined by building, unit, floor and household and should not be arbitrarily extended to residential compounds and entire communities.

The health authority called on local authorities to “resolutely rectify the simplified, uniform and additional measures” for the prevention of COVID and to reject and overcome “formalism and bureaucracy”.

Schools that have not experienced an outbreak are to resume in-person instruction, according to the announcement.

For nearly three years, China has enforced some of the world’s most restrictive COVID-19 rules under its “zero COVID” policy, managing the virus as a disease on par with bubonic plague and cholera.

But since last week, senior officials have acknowledged the new coronavirus’ reduced ability to cause disease, while Chinese experts have suggested it is no more deadly than seasonal flu.

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Is China’s stance on COVID changing?

Yesterday, residents of the capital Beijing were allowed to enter parks, supermarkets and offices without presenting proof of a negative COVID-19 test in another relaxation of the rules.

People no longer need a negative COVID test to take the subway or enter one of the city’s airports. However, no changes have been suggested to the rules requiring passengers to show negative tests before boarding.

A street cleaner wears a protective suit as she picks up trash next to a bus stop in Beijing
Image:
A street cleaner wears a protective suit as she picks up trash next to a bus stop in Beijing
China is preparing its people to live with COVID
Image:
China is preparing its people to live with COVID

The last month has seen intense anti-lockdown protests representing the biggest show of public discontent on the mainland since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

As the protests died down within days amid a heavy police response, cities and regions across the country began easing measures piecemeal ahead of today’s announcement.

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