China braces for massive outbreak of COVID-19 as it scraps tracking app

China COVID - 19 testing Credit canghai76 Shutterstock.com

China is bracing itself for a massive outbreak of COVID-19 with the country bowing to public pressure removing many of the restrictions that saw millions quarantined.

According to a report by CNN on Monday, December 12 China is easing its zero tolerance policy after locals took to the streets in protest against the policy and the government.

The most notable change is the deactivation of the “mobile itinerary card” that the government used to track the movement of citizens. The app is what led to many being quarantined after their phone suggested they were in contact or near to a person that had tested positive.

Unlike apps used in the UK, which also suffered issues, and elsewhere, the Chinese app monitored the previous 14 days movement of anyone who was registered positive. That the resulted in those zones where the person had been, being designated as high risk.

That information was then used to quarantine or ban the movement of people into or out of the zone concerned.

Whilst the removal of the draconian restrictions is welcomed locally and internationally, with the hope that supply chains will once return to normal production volumes, there is concern that China’s health system may not be able to cope with a large outbreak.

Fears amongst the general public is already leading to overcrowding of medical centres, testing facilities and hospitals. Whilst in other areas like Beijing people have chosen to stay at home for fear of catching the virus. Daily positive tests have surged in recent days according to local media.

Zhong Nanshan, a COVID-19 specialist said: “No matter how strong the prevention and control is, it will be difficult to completely cut off the transmission chain.”

It remains to be seen whether scrapping of the COVID-19 app as has been the case elsewhere, China will experience a massive outbreak of the virus.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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