China warns of excessive COVID-19 control measures in some places

Chinese health authorities have warned against some overly restrictive and unreasonable COVID-19 prevention and control measures taken by some local authorities.

The country’s epidemic situation is gradually stabilizing, according to Lei Zhenglong, deputy head of the Chinese National Health Commission’s Disease Prevention and Control Office.

Lei said that nearly 1.3 billion people have now been vaccinated in China out of a population of 1.4 billion and that, thanks to prevention and control measures, the average number of daily confirmed cases in China has fallen to less than 40, an 81% drop from a week earlier.

Lei said draconian and one-size-fits-all measures should be avoided, and authorities should not ban people from low-risk areas from returning to their hometowns or arbitrarily expand the range of medium- and high-risk areas.

People from low-risk regions should not be quarantined or restricted without permission, he said.

Officials said some regions abused the health status app system that should only be used for epidemic prevention and control.

“Authorities at all levels should strictly enforce health status application management measures and related rules. The health app should only be used for epidemic prevention and control, and it is prohibited from using it in any other way,” Lei said.

Despite the dwindling number of domestic cases, officials warned that the hidden risk of transmission remained and said China would continue to make tireless efforts to coordinate control measures with economic and social development goals.