Mainland media reported this week that the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau has made it compulsory for couples to present COVID-negative test results in 48 hours if they seek to register a marriage license.
According to the screenshot of the notice provided by China News Network, the requirement began taking effect on May 5. The rule applies to residents from all districts of the capital.
Chinese language media Xin Tang Ren reported that Beijing and Hangzhou, Wuhan, Shanghai, Dalian, and other cities had adopted the so-called normalization of COVID-testing policy. China now makes testing for the virus a new normal.
Hangzhou had said that all citizens complete at least one nucleic acid sampling every 48 hours; otherwise, they cannot enter public places or take public transportation.
Shanghai is expected to impose similar requirements in June. However, its lockdown is still in force.
Wuhan, Dalian, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Wuhu, Anhui, Changchun, Jilin, Shenyang, Liaoning, Handan, Hebei, and other places have begun to make screening for coronavirus a regular staple.
According to online images, some testing sites in China have evolved from mere temporary tents to more long-term-looking destinations. For example, one has an air conditioner installed.
The push for COVID-19 testing reminds us of the leaked recording from Havard scholar Huang Wansheng 黄万盛 in February. He commented that influential interest groups in the Chinese regime could exploit testing for coronavirus to make huge profits.
According to him, one group has earned 670 billion yuan, about $100 billion, from COVID-19 testing alone.
As the South China Morning Post reported, Tao Chuan, chief macro analyst at Soochow Securities, said that a year of conducting mass testing in all of China’s first–and second–tier cities could cost 1.7 trillion yuan ($257 billion.) That sum makes up about 1.5% of China’s GDP in 2021 or nearly 8.7% of last year’s public fiscal revenue.
Tao said, “A cost of more than 100 billion yuan per month in [coronavirus] test procurements is not a small expense. Apart from letting residents bear part of the cost, issuing special treasury bonds is also an important and feasible option” to offset the expense.”