Residents wait for nucleic acid testing at Balizhuang subdistrict in Chaoyang district, Beijing, capital of China, June 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
On Wednesday, in a sign of the improved epidemic situation in the country, the cautionary asterisk was removed from the health status app, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The change is aimed at improving the efficiency of the nation's COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control work, and boosting socioeconomic recovery, the ministry said.
Previously, the apps carried an asterisk that indicated when a person had visited a place with a medium or high risk of infection in the past 14 days, thus restricting their travel across the country.
The asterisks, however, do not indicate a person's health status, and were only meant to serve as a warning to people about medium and high-risk areas that they should avoid, the ministry claimed.
The removal soon spurred a surge in both online searches and travel bookings. An online tourism platform reported that the search for flight tickets and hotel bookings surged 180 percent and 220 percent respectively in the first half an hour after the news was released compared with that of the previous day.
The removal of the asterisks marks an important step in the nation's fight against the novel coronavirus indicating that the authorities are giving a green light to resuming normal population flows.
China's dynamic clearing policy has always been flexible as it is constantly adjusted in light of the actual conditions. That's an important guarantee to make it scientific and effective, and minimize the socioeconomic costs.
It is some reports on the rigidity with which some grassroots government departments carried out the policy that has misled some into believing that the policy is inflexible.
The adjustment should prompt some local governments to ease their prevention and control measures that erred excessively on the side of caution.
China has proved its dynamic clearing policy is the right choice that makes the most of its institutional advantages to safeguard people's interest, particularly the aged and young, and maintain steady growth.
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