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No more statistics on COVID-19 asymptomatic cases: China

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GUANGZHOU,CHINA: People line up for nucleic acid testing at a temporary COVID-19 testing site on November 30,2022 in Guangzhou,Guangdong province of China. (Stringer - Anadolu Agency)
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Dec 14, 2022 - 11:44 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – China on Wednesday declared not to release statistics for asymptomatic cases as the country has effectively abandoned its “zero-COVID” policy.

“The present policy for COVID-19 nucleic acid testing is that it is voluntary. It’s impossible to get accurate statistics for asymptomatic cases given the fact that many asymptomatic cases choose not to take nucleic acid tests,” China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement.

It added: “Therefore, starting from Dec. 14, 2022, statistics for asymptomatic cases will no longer be released.”

The development comes after China relaxed its strict measures against the spread of COVID-19.

It, however, has shifted to the policy of treating people than stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

China reported 2,291 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as the world’s largest populated nation is witnessing a steady spread of infections.

Authorities were forced to reconsider China’s strict policy of locking down neighborhoods to stem the spread of the virus after rare demonstrations hit several cities in the country.

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, during an inspection of epidemic control work in Beijing on Tuesday, said the priority of “work should be shifted from preventing infections to medical treatment, with the objectives of ensuring people’s health and preventing severe cases.”

Sun told medical authorities to meticulously implement various measures to optimize COVID-19 prevention and control and ensure the smooth transition of the country’s COVID-19 response phases.

“The principle of putting people and their interests first must be upheld,” she added.

China has reported 369,918 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 5,235 deaths since the first cases were reported in December 2019.

Since this Tuesday, China no longer requires digital travel code service from the people.

The Travel Card, which tracked the history of people in China, was in service since March 6, 2020, three months after the first cases were reported in Wuhan city of China in December 2019.

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