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China is increasing the vaccination rate of the elderly

The Beijing National Health Commission announced that it will “accelerate the vaccination rate for those over 80, and continue in the 60-79 age groups.” A special working group will be set up for this.

The commission stated at a press conference that less than 66 percent of Chinese people over the age of 80 have been fully vaccinated. There is no mRNA vaccine approved for general use in the country yet.

Through Tuesday, 38,421 new cases of infection were reported, just below the record numbers for the weekend.

Barriers are removed

Some virus restrictions are also being eased in an effort to quell the recent growing protests against the country’s zero virus policy and strict restrictions on the spread of the virus. The city authorities announced, among other things, that no collars will be set up in Beijing neighborhoods where new cases of infection are detected.

Corridors should be kept open for medical transportation, emergency cases and rescue, said Wang Daguang, an official of the city’s epidemic control.

In the industrial city of Guangzhou, all residents no longer need to undergo mass testing.

Quiet in big cities

A heavy police presence and cold weather caused major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to remain silent on Tuesday, following large-scale demonstrations.

Over the weekend, protests spread to several cities, after ten people were killed in a fire in the city of Urumqi. Many claim that the restrictions exacerbated the consequences of the apartment fire.

But many of the demonstrations that were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday fizzled out, and journalists in major cities observed hundreds of policemen and vehicles taking to the streets. There are reports of people’s cell phones being checked when they are stopped.

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People who participated in demonstrations this weekend reported receiving calls from the authorities demanding that they disclose their activities.

It is unclear how many people have been arrested in connection with the protests.

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How do the authorities deal with the protests? How big is it? And why did they break out? – Listen to former Asia Correspondent Ulrica Bergsten.