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China urges local governments to minimise impact from COVID-19 curbs over Chinese New Year

BEIJING: China’s state planner on Sunday (Jan 16) urged local governments to minimise the impact from COVID-19 restrictions over the upcoming Chinese New Year vacation to assist a rebound in consumption, as rising circumstances of the Omicron variant threaten financial development.

“Local governments should avoid simplified, one-size-fits-all … COVID-19 epidemic and control measures (over the holiday) and minimise the impact on the people’s life,” the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) mentioned in a press release.

It mentioned low-risk locations in China meet the affordable demand for brief journeys from city and rural residents, and step up the provision of on a regular basis merchandise over the vacation interval.

China has reported local circumstances of the extremely transmissible Omicron variant in no less than 5 provinces and municipalities, together with a first infection in capital Beijing on Saturday, simply weeks forward of the Olympic Winter Games in February.

It reported 119 new confirmed COVID-19 circumstances for Saturday, down from 165 a day earlier, its well being authority mentioned on Sunday.

Of the brand new infections, 65 had been domestically transmitted, in accordance to a press release by the National Health Commission (NHC), in contrast with 104 a day earlier.

The new domestically transmitted circumstances had been in Tianjin, Henan, Beijing, Guangdong and Shaanxi, the NHC mentioned.

Local governments are on excessive alert to potential COVID-19 circumstances from outdoors, with many urging residents to keep put for the third straight yr throughout what’s often the busiest journey interval of the yr.

China’s financial system seemingly grew at its slowest pace in one-and-a-half years within the fourth quarter, weighed down by weaker demand due to a property downturn, curbs on debt and strict COVID-19 measures.

The NDRC on Sunday additionally mentioned it helps the wholesome growth of the property market and the reputable demand from home-buyers, whereas asking local governments to step up oversight of unfair competitors and different monopolistic behaviours over the vacation interval.

“The measures are aimed to further release the potential of consumer spending and push for a stable start to the economic growth in the first quarter,” the NDRC mentioned.

China reported 52 new asymptomatic circumstances for Jan 15, which it classifies individually from confirmed circumstances, increased than 25 infections a day earlier.

There had been no new deaths, leaving the dying toll at 4,636.

As of Jan 15, mainland China had 104,864 confirmed circumstances.

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