China will stop testing for the presence of the coronavirus on certain imported products, the Ministry of Health announced, as the government strives to balance prevention with fears of an economic slowdown.< /strong>
The Asian giant, in particular in order to preserve its elderly population, applies a strict health policy and, since 2020, has been carrying out surveys on goods arriving from abroad, the outer packaging of which is additionally disinfected.
The authorities have sometimes attributed the responsibility for certain epidemic resurgences in China to these imported products.
These tests and disinfection, which take time, occasionally create bottlenecks. Thousands of tons of tropical fruits, for example, had been stuck at the border on the Vietnamese side, as drivers waited for authorization to enter Chinese soil.
Non-refrigerated and non-frozen products, such as coal, minerals, foodstuffs or even animal feed will now be able to enter China without being tested, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
< p>“High-risk” goods will, however, continue to be disinfected, he noted, however.
The ministry says the move is aimed at “ensuring the stability of industrial and supply chains” , pointing out that anyway, “at room temperature, the coronavirus can only survive for a short time on the surface of most objects”.
Chilled and frozen products will continue to be tested.< /p>
China has applied a zero-COVID policy since 2020, which consists of avoiding the occurrence of new cases as much as possible through targeted confinements, the placement in quarantine of people who test positive and the tracking of movements.
But this health strategy contributes e to a slowing economy, with regularly disrupted supply chains, closing businesses, falling consumption and more layoffs.