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Chinese battle with COVID-19

Chinese battle with COVID-19

Chinese battle with COVID-19

China Covid: First deaths in weeks confirms NHC

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  • The cancer survivor in Hunan, China, just learned the COVID-19 lockdown will be removed.
  • Hu told her relatives on WeChat to wear masks and avoid busy locations.
  • The policy reversal came after a wave of anti-lockdown rallies swept the country.
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The 43-year-old cancer survivor in Hunan, China, just learnt that the two-week lockdown imposed to restrict COVID-19’s spread will be lifted.

Hu told her relatives on WeChat to wear masks and avoid busy locations.

China has begun to lift some of its most extreme restrictions after nearly three years of a zero-COVID strategy that included lockdowns, mass testing, and central quarantine.

The policy reversal came after a wave of anti-lockdown rallies swept the country.

The relaxation of the policy has delighted many, especially those whose economic livelihoods have been hurt, but many are agitated about what might happen next. Health experts predict a surge of coronavirus cases in a country where most people have not been exposed to the virus and many elderly people have not received full vaccine courses.

The zero-COVID policy means that since 2020, China has pushed a narrative of a lethal virus and portrayed the rest of the world’s decision to live with it as unsafe.

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The administration dismantled its anti-pandemic program in just a few nights.

In a week, the government suspended PCR testing requirements for most public areas, removed the national COVID-19 tracking app, and reduced other restrictions on daily life.

The rapid change has bewildered and scared many, including Hu.

People with underlying disorders or a compromised immune system are particularly sensitive to COVID-19. Hu has ovarian cancer.

She recently passed five years since the last cancerous cells were detected in her body, a clinical sign that the disease has probably been suppressed, but she says she is “extremely nervous” about the sudden shift in COVID-19 policies and is canceling all non-essential trips outside her home so she doesn’t “risk infection.”

Hu told Al Jazeera that doctors are worried about vaccine negative effects.

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Now we’re without immunizations and state protection.

Al Jazeera interviewed five immunocompromised non-vaccinated people. They all said the government was slow and unwilling to vaccinate them due to adverse effects.

Patients with underlying conditions fear they won’t get vaccinated before the virus enters their city or building.

“No one was rushed to receive the vaccine previously, but today even though we want it, doctors are cautious since there is no top-down guidance,” said a dialysis patient in Kunming, China. We’re all nervous.

The elderly are also afraid. Despite the government’s rush to inoculate the elderly after relaxing the policy, only 60% of those over 80 have been vaccinated, according to the National Health Commission. A Hong Kong study found older people immunized with Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines are only protected after a booster shot.

Due to low vaccination rates among susceptible populations, scientists foresee a sudden rise of cases in China’s winter that might overwhelm existing medical facilities.

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Not just vulnerable people are afraid of COVID-19.

After three years of incessant message, young and healthy people who should be able to cope with the sickness are anxious.

Since COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan three years ago and the metropolis of 8.5 million was walled off, experts have studied the effect of protracted lockdowns on mental health.

The Lancet, one of the world’s premier medical magazines, cited the first national assessment on psychological suffering in the COVID-19 pandemic in China from 2020.

“School closures were connected with unfavorable mental health symptoms and behaviors among children and adolescents,” it noted, noting that relief when Wuhan’s lockdown was lifted was tempered by “widespread concern over transitioning to ordinary life and fear that viral transmission will rebound.”

Since then, infrequent but extended lockdowns in China have left many “weary and depressed,” says Shanghai-based psychotherapist Xiao Lu.

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“Being separated from friends and family over fear of this sickness is a trigger for many,” she said.

Lu Xueqin, 35, of Changsha, central China, is vaccinated and supplemented with China’s indigenous vaccinations but recalls the early days of the pandemic when medical resources were stretched thin.

“I don’t want to go back,” Lu stated.

Vaccines and the virus have progressed since Wuhan in 2020. Vaccines and better treatments have made Omicron variants more common but less severe.

Beijing’s fearmongering portrayal of the virus since Wuhan has made it harder for Chinese to live with COVID-19.

Xiao Lu told Al Jazeera that many people who thought coronavirus infection was fatal may become anxious.

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Even while experts have told the people that the new variation is not as deadly as the one that decimated Wuhan early in the outbreak, worry is widespread.

Lu concerns that until the government educates the public more aggressively about the infection, more may suffer from worry and sadness.

“It’s scientifically proven that ambiguity fuels worry in anxious people, and a policy change without good communication will make things worse,” she said.

Uncertainty and panic could linger as cases rise amid loosened constraints.

Zhong Nanshan, a top government health expert, told state media on Sunday that despite rigorous prevention and control, it will be impossible to shut off the transmission chain.

Oliver Wyman surveyed 4,000 consumers last month and found that fear of COVID-19 was the #1 reason they wouldn’t go.

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Lu laughed when asked if she plans to go from Changsha as the rules relax. I can hardly leave my house.

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