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Hong Kong chief assessments optimistic for Covid after assembly Xi Jinping

Hong Kong’s chief govt has examined optimistic for Covid-19 simply days after interacting along with his boss, President Xi Jinping of China, on the Asia Pacific Financial Cooperation discussion board in Bangkok.

John Lee was seated subsequent to Xi throughout a gathering on November 18 and likewise stood subsequent to him at an occasion on November 17, probably one in all Xi’s closest recognized brushes with the virus because the begin of the pandemic.

China has been following a strict zero-Covid coverage, routinely forcing thousands and thousands into quarantines and home lockdowns regardless of the massive financial and psychological prices.

Neither politician wore a masks on the 2 events they met.

“[John Lee is] present process isolation,” the Hong Kong authorities mentioned on Monday. Lee examined optimistic upon his return to the Chinese language territory on Sunday.

The information comes as confusion deepens over the way forward for China’s zero-Covid coverage, with any reopening intently watched by buyers who hope it’s going to pave the way in which for an financial restoration.

Sure cities experiencing outbreaks, equivalent to provincial capitals Shijiazhuang and Guangzhou, had been first permitted to impose less stringent restrictions however have since rolled out more durable controls.

Xi solely began travelling outdoors of China in current months. A quick journey to central Asia in September was his first abroad journey since January 2020, when the virus erupted out of central China.

The well being of prime Chinese language Communist celebration leaders is a intently guarded secret. It’s probably that Xi, who returned to China through the weekend, will stay out of public view till finishing the newest quarantine necessities, which embrace a minimum of 5 days of self-isolation.

The Chinese language chief’s week-long tour of south-east Asia for the G20 summit in Indonesia and the annual Apec leaders’ assembly in Thailand marked his return to the global stage. He had a flurry of talks with friends together with US President Joe Biden, in addition to the leaders of France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Xi’s final recognized brush with the virus was in June, when he visited Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of its return to Chinese language sovereignty. A Hong Kong lawmaker, Steven Ho, posed in a gaggle photograph with Xi and subsequently examined optimistic, however all within the image had been sporting masks on the time.

Hun Sen, Cambodia’s chief, examined optimistic for Covid-19 after internet hosting south-east Asian leaders, Chinese language premier Li Keqiang and Biden simply earlier than the G20 summit.

Buyers have been hoping for a better loosening of the zero-Covid coverage since November 11, when China introduced a number of measures, together with decreasing the variety of days in quarantine for incoming travellers and shut contacts of Covid circumstances.

Shijiazhuang, a northern metropolis not removed from Beijing, was on the forefront of easing the draconian restrictions. On November 13, the town pivoted from a full lockdown into reopening, together with abandoning population-wide Covid testing and taking out the requirement to current unfavorable coronavirus check outcomes to enter buildings and public transport.

Covid circumstances, nevertheless, continued to unfold amongst residents, and through the weekend, the municipal authorities retreated, imposing a brand new lockdown. It additionally ordered 1000’s of scholars to return house from college campuses hit onerous by the newest outbreak.

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