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Beijing begins to ease COVID restrictions

Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani discusses the latest COVID-19 updates out of China following protests over restrictions.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, China is expected to loosen its longstanding COVID restrictions, this after a week marked by protests over the nation's zero-COVID stance. So what are experts saying about the impact of ending the policy, public health in the world's largest, or one of the world's largest countries. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance senior healthcare reporter Anjalee Khemlani. And Anjalee, we said they're expected to, but you could argue the easing's already begun, if you listen to the rhetoric coming from Chinese officials.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right. We already hear talk of what this easing would look like, Reuters reporting today that that would include reduction of who is required to isolate in one of these isolation centers that would include all but pregnant women of the elderly and the most vulnerable. The rest could start to isolate at home if they are positive. Also greater use of antigen testing. Right now, the country really reliant on the more labor intensive, but more accurate PCR tests.

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And so a shift to antigen tests like the rest of the world could be in the books, as well as what we've seen recently, the discussion about pushing for elderly to get those fourth doses, as well as pushing for more compliance with those third doses, all as a result-- all after-- sorry-- the relaxing of international travel guidelines. So we've seen this really step by step easing that's been coming in, and that also at a time where we've already seen these restrictive lockdowns, which resulted in those protests that you referred to earlier.

And all of this could be a strain on the Chinese hospitals. And that's something that the government has to contend with and figure out. If you recall, we saw those temporary hospitals built up really quickly early on in the pandemic. They have since been decommissioned. So how the country will handle a surge in cases and whether or not they will separate between severe and milder cases is also something that remains to be seen. Back to you.