Despite the breakout of nationwide protests in China, the President Xi Jinping led administration is showing no signs of ending the zero covid policy that has in the past plummeted the country’s economy and inflated distrust amongst residents. But it has proven effective in fighting the worrying spike in covid cases. 

Financial times reported that Chinese media houses continued to encourage the policy that lasted for two months in Shanghai and 100 days in the city of Urumqi; leaving many with limited food, medical care, or other basic amenities. 

Why it matters 
With skyrocketing covid cases, President Xi Jinping is faced with an impossible decision to either force the country to observe the zero covid policy which would impose lockdowns and city restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus or find an alternative to battle the rising covid cases. 

As of Monday 
Certain cities in different parts of China are relaxing health protocols by reopening apartments where authorities had detected covid cases, clearing passages for medical transportation, emergency escapes and rescue, reducing mass testing and resuming the transit of buses in Urumqi, amongst others.

What to watch
In the coming days, if the protests continue to grow in magnitude and scale, the Chinese government would have to take more severe measures to curtail the spread. 

In case you missed it 
The protests broke out after a fire incident in Urumqi, the capital of the far-western region of Xinjiang, killed 10 people. Reports say several Chinese believe they could have escaped the incident if there weren’t such strict COVID-19 lockdowns in place. According to a BBC report, officials say the restrictions didn’t stop anyone from running to safety.

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