With an abrupt U-turn, China has announced the cancellation of a series of among the most draconian measures for the containment of Covid. People who test positive for the virus will be able to self-isolate at home and schools where there have been no outbreaks must return to classroom teaching. We will also limit blocks to buildings, districts and neighborhoods. The announcement follows recent street protests in several cities over the government’s strict “zero-covid” policy as it enters its fourth year, and has been accused of disrupting ordinary life, travel and employment by inflicting harsh blow to the national economy.
A decision also taken in light of the negative data on the economy. China’s imports and exports fell in November as weakening global demand and virus checks weighed on the world’s second-largest economy. Exports slumped 9% from a year earlier to $296.1 billion, worse than October’s 0.9% decline, customs data showed on Wednesday. Imports fell 10.9% to $226.2 billion, down from a 0.7% decline the previous month. The country’s global trade surplus shrank 2.5 percent from a year earlier to $69.9 billion.