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Live news updates: China’s official media highlights Covid-free policy amid nationwide protests


China’s most important party and state media reiterated the country’s commitment to a strict no-Covid policy on Monday following a weekend where rare protests erupted in cities across the country.

The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, published a front-page editorial, authored by Zhong Yin, a pseudonym seen as indicating the party’s line on the Covid policy. The article called for “improving the effectiveness of anti-epidemic work” and praised the “20 measures” just announced to partially relax the Covid-free policy.

It added that early eradication of outbreaks was critical to the success of the approach, highlighting a key tenet of the Covid-free approach.

“Timely detection and control of infected people in society, accurate identification and control of close contacts, and timely and accurate zoning and notification of at-risk areas are key to understanding seize the opportunity to prevent the epidemic,” People’s Daily wrote.

Earlier this month, the government eased quarantine requirements for close contacts and international travelers, in the first easing step in Xi Jinping’s Covid-free strategy since the policy was introduced. was reaffirmed at the Communist Party congress in October.

But spiraling load cases, which continue to rise after hitting record levels last week, have triggered a wave of lockdowns and restrictions across the country.

Xinhua News Agency, the government’s official news agency, on Monday published an editorial calling on the country to “resolutely” adhere to the principle of “putting people’s lives first” and preventing “entering into commodity exports”. [the virus] from abroad” and prevent its “domestic recovery,” two phrases closely associated with Beijing’s Covid-free strategy.

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