China removes quarantine restrictions for foreigners

China has decided to end the regulation of compulsory quarantine for people coming from the outside world to the country. According to government officials, this regulation will be lifted from January 8, 2023, which is expected to facilitate the tourism and foreign affairs in the country which were significantly slowed due to China’s stringent Zero COVID policy. Earlier this month, China eased its Zero COVID policy to provide freedom to the Chinese people who were locked into their homes because of stringent regulations. However, China's decision not to quarantine foreigners or outsiders coming to the country is kind of confusing as, throughout December, China has been reporting a significant surge in COVID-19 cases which has put significant stress on the country’s healthcare system and healthcare workers. 

This decision has come as a blessing for workers, students, and visitors. As a part of this decision, China will be opening its doors to the outside world, mainly to people with student or work visas. People who want to visit their family members living in China will also be able to do so. But the current situation in China is not encouraging for anyone as the cases of coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in the country. Hospitals and healthcare organizations are still trying to manage the constantly rising number of COVID patients. Stringent conditions of infection regulations have created a sense of fear in people living in China, even though the coronavirus has a significantly low mortality rate. In other regions of the world, COVID is treated based on the severity of symptoms. People with mild or no symptoms are advised to take home rest and practice isolation from crowded places and are given general fever and cough medications. But because China had extreme regulations regarding COVID management in the past, people are still afraid of the consequences they may have to face if their infection worsens. Because of such belief, large hoards of patients are gathering in line at healthcare organizations for getting their treatments. Because of this, healthcare workers are being forced to overwork to handle this constantly growing influx of patients. According to the local media in Beijing, over 80% of the hospital staff are infected with COVID, which is an alarming number. But still, the healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses, have been suggested to work if they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. 

Because of such wild conditions, many will rethink their decision to travel to China no matter what amid such chaos. Another thing to worry about is the way the Chinese government has been handling the situation. According to the local media, people in the country are rapidly catching the coronavirus infection, and elderly people are dying due to having weak immunity, to which, stringent lockdowns have contributed significantly. Despite this, the official data released by the Chinese government shows that the number of new cases being reported in the country is constantly declining. The WHO had called out the Chinese government regarding their ways of managing the COVID data. The WHO said that even after constantly asking for updated data, China has not provided it to the agency which shows that the data being portrayed by Chinese officials matches the ground reality.