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Live updates: Chinese state media stress zero-Covid policy amid protests

China’s top state and party media reiterated the country’s commitment to its strict zero-Covid policy on Monday after a weekend in which rare protests erupted in cities across the country.

The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, published a front-page op-ed, under the authorship of Zhong Yin, a pseudonym considered to indicate the party line on Covid policy. The article called for “improving the efficiency of anti-epidemic work” and welcomed the recently announced “20 measures” aimed at a partial relaxation of the zero-Covid policy.

He added that eradicating epidemics early was crucial for the success of the approach, underlining an important tenet of the zero-Covid approach.

“The timely detection and control of infected people in society, the accurate identification and control of close contacts, as well as the rapid and accurate delineation and announcement of risk areas are the keys to seizing the opportunity. epidemic prevention and control,” the People’s Daily wrote.

Earlier this month, the government eased quarantine requirements for close contacts and international travelers, in the first marginal relaxation of Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid strategy since the policy was reaffirmed at the party congress. Communist in October.

But the spiraling number of cases, which has continued to rise after hitting record highs last week, has sparked a wave of lockdowns and restrictions across the country.

Xinhua, the government’s official news agency, published an editorial on Monday calling on the country to “unwaveringly” stick to the principle of “putting people’s livelihoods first” and prevent “the import [the virus] from abroad” and prevent its “domestic rebound”, two phrases associated with Beijing’s zero-Covid strategy.

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