January 28
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Chinese authorities have relaxed preventive measures and social restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus across the country, said in a document on optimizing measures to control COVID-19 published Wednesday on the website of China's State Committee on Hygiene and Public Health.

According to the document, high-risk zones are now imposed by building, apartment, floor and household rather than by territorial-administrative unit.

All forms of temporary blockade of high-risk zones are not allowed, the document says. If there are no new infections for 5 consecutive days, the high-risk zone regime is lifted.

In addition, asymptomatic infected and people with a mild course of the disease can choose between home self-isolation and voluntary centralized quarantine.

Areas with no high-risk zones for the virus should not restrict the movement of people, suspend production and business activities, authorities specified.

An increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in China was recorded in early November, the vast majority of which were asymptomatic carriers of the virus. The country's government first stepped up restrictive measures to prevent COVID-19. At the end of November, demonstrations against the anti-COVID measures took place in a number of Chinese cities. One of the reasons for the demonstrations was a fire in an apartment building in the city of Urumqi in which ten people died. The Chinese media circulated unconfirmed information that due to the lockdown the firefighters could not reach the place of emergency in time and the residents could not leave their apartments. Authorities have denied this information.

China has also abolished mandatory PCR testing for categories of the population whose work does not involve an increased risk of infection or involve no contact with children or the elderly.

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