COVID-19: After Wuhan water park party, now Beijing says face masks not mandatory in public spaces

BEIJING: People in China’s capital Beijing are no longer required to wear masks outdoors, health authorities said on Friday, a second such announcement since May when it was reversed after a recurrence of coronavirus cases in the city.
According to official data, Beijing had 935 cases of coronavirus since February this year of which 924 have recovered
The city reported nine deaths.
People are no longer required to wear masks outdoors, but they still need to wear masks when in close contact with others, a new guideline issued by the Beijing Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.
On May 17, Beijing made a similar announcement, becoming a rare city in the world to relax norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the rule was reintroduced a few weeks later after the new clusters of the virus linked to the city’s main market called Xinfadi broke out.
The new guidelines suggest that people who have a fever or respiratory symptoms, especially those who have been in close contact with patients with respiratory infectious diseases recently, to avoid attending weddings, birthday parties, and other family gatherings, an official press release here said.
As of Thursday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases all over the Chinese mainland had reached 84,917, including 491 patients who were still being treated, with 20 in severe condition.
Altogether 79,792 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, according to China’s National Health Commission.
While the world is gripped by the pandemic which emerged in the Chinese city Wuhan which was the first COVID-19 epicentre, official media here highlighted pool parties in the city with thousands taking part in it, which according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry is “strategic victory” against the virus.
“It reflects a strategic victory achieved by Wuhan and the Chinese government in fighting the virus”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here on Thursday.


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