Hong Kong/Chengdu, December 28 – China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is lifting almost all corona protective measures. Hong Kong Prime Minister John Lee announced on Wednesday that the mandatory PCR test for travelers from overseas would no longer be required from Thursday, as would the local vaccination card, required to access most events. The regulations on the maximum number of people allowed to meet are also no longer applicable. However, wearing a mask remains compulsory.
“The city has achieved a relatively high vaccination rate,” Lee said, explaining the easing following China’s departure from the strict corona course. “Hong Kong has enough medicine to fight Covid, and medical staff have gained a lot of experience in dealing with the pandemic.” Just last week, Lee announced that the border with China, which had been closed since the pandemic began in early 2020, will open until mid-January.
The former British crown colony of Hong Kong had largely followed China’s strict corona course in the fight against the pandemic. At the beginning of the month, the People’s Republic abruptly changed course after popular protests and introduced more and more relaxations. However, this has led to a strong wave of infections which has put hospitals and undertakers under massive pressure.
LONG LINES OUTSIDE HOSPITALS IN CHINA
China is still easing corona measures. In the People’s Republic, the mandatory PCR test upon entry from January 8 will also be omitted, as the customs authorities announced on Wednesday. The government has already eased many restrictions as the rigid protective measures hurt the economy and the population increasingly rebels against them. However, the turnaround now pushes the health system to its limits.
In addition, there are considerable doubts about the official data. Authorities reported three new deaths on Tuesday after a case on Monday. China only counts people who died of pneumonia or respiratory failure among corona deaths. However, these low figures contrast with statements made by funeral homes and the experience of other less populated countries after the relaxation of corona measures.
Staff at a major hospital in the southwestern city of Chengdu said they had a lot to do with Covid patients. An ambulance driver said: ‘I’ve been doing this job for 30 years and I’ve never been busier. Long lines formed outside and inside the hospital emergency room on Tuesday evening. Most of the patients who arrived by ambulance needed oxygen. “Almost all patients have Corona,” said an employee. The hospital has no Covid drugs in stock, you can only give people drugs that relieve symptoms such as cough.
All parking spaces around Chengdu’s largest funeral parlor were full, there were constant funeral processions, and smoke billowed from the crematorium. “We now have to do this 200 times a day,” one employee said. “We are so busy that we don’t even have time to eat.” This has been the case since the measures were relaxed. “Many have died from Covid.” A worker at another crematorium made a similar statement.
China only announced on Monday that people entering the country would no longer be quarantined from January 8. However, other countries are now tightening their regulations for travelers from mainland China. India, Japan and Taiwan want to prescribe negative corona tests.
Hong Kong relaxes corona measures – the situation in China is tense
Photo symbol: Image by Spencer Wing on Pixabay
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