China Creates Working Groups to Monitor Implementation of COVID-19 Restrictions, Reports Say
BEIJING (Sputnik) - The Chinese government has set up special working groups to ensure that the local authorities will not cross the line when implementing COVID-19 restrictions in the country amid a record number of daily infections, the Global Times newspaper reported on Monday.
The groups have been established at the initiative of the Chinese National Health Commission and its Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to control the implementation of COVID-19 measures, monitor PCR testing of the population and assist epidemiological investigators in collecting and sharing information about the situation in the country, according to the media outlet.
The decision to create the working groups has been made after two main mistakes in the implementation of COVID-19 measures became obvious, Wang Liping, a researcher at the CDC was quoted as saying by the Chinese media outlet. The local authorities either completely isolated the population, setting off a wave of mass protests in the country, or totally abandoned precautions. The task of the newly established working groups is to avoid such extremes, Wang reportedly explained.
On Sunday, Yang Beibei, the deputy head of Beijing's Chaoyang district, said that the local authorities would promptly lift COVID-19 restrictions after taking the necessary measures to minimize the impact of the limitations on the lives of city residents amid public discontent.
Daily COVID-19 cases in China have been hitting record highs for several days in a row. Over the past 24 hours, 40,347 cases were registered in the country, including 3,822 symptomatic and 36,525 asymptomatic cases.
Due to numerous local COVID-19 outbreaks and the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in the country, the Chinese authorities have introduced partial lockdowns in some areas, while also forcing their residents to undergo PCR testing on a daily basis. In particular, restrictive measures have been tightened in a number of China's major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
The new restrictions have resulted in the increase in mass protests across the country. Public anger has mounted after a fire occurred in a residential building in Urumqi â€” the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region â€” killing 10 people on November 24. Many people have expressed the opinion that the deaths could have been avoided if the government had not imposed COVID-19 restrictions on the residential complex. The regional authorities have launched a thorough investigation into the deadly fire and have vowed to bring those suspected of dereliction of duty to justice.
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