As China battles with the Covid-19 pandemic, several problems have become evident in how it is being dealt with.

To deal with the pandemic, China has been adopting an extreme zero-Covid policy.

According to local media, many cities in mainland China have stepped up nucleic acid testing, causing frustration among citizens. People had to wait in long queues at sampling sites, and the test results were slow. There are also such problems as high epidemic prevention costs and unreasonable self-pay requirements.

Other cities are spending hundreds of billions of yuan for testing in some communities, though there are only sporadic cases of Covid in these areas.

A negative test certificate is equivalent to a “pass.” If a citizen does not have this certificate, they will not be able to enter public places.

Beijing, Zhejiang, Hangzhou, Jiangsu, Suzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and other places require people to show negative Covid test results to enter various venues, including offices and commercial sites.

But since the end of May, some cities have extended the validity period of the test results from 48 hours to 72 hours.

Under the Covid testing requirements, the first thing many people do early in the morning is to check whether their nucleic acid test is overdue and where the sampling sites are.

For example, about 18,000 sampling sites in Shanghai have been set up, but people still have to queue up often. Some say there are few medical workers at the sampling points, so they often have to wait several hours.

The public has also complained about the slow testing results.

A Shanghai citizen said the nucleic acid test report also took too long.

The disproportionate cost of prevention measures by local governments is questionable. Henan Province has only reported sporadic cases, but on May 28, it announced a testing promotion. And the relevant costs are borne by governments at all levels.

It is estimated that Henan Province will spend about 60 billion yuan a year on nucleic acid testing.

Covid testing has put enormous financial pressure on local governments. China’s National Medical Security Administration said that the policies have shifted, and now people have to pay the cost of the tests to help reduce the financial burden.

Wu Jinglei is the director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission. At the end of May, he said that the free service of nucleic acid testing in Shanghai would end on June 30, which means the public would have to bear their own expenses from July 1.

But at a press conference on June 11, the Shanghai government announced that the free nucleic acid testing service would be extended to July 31.

If calculated based on ten nucleic acid tests per month, each person will pay at least 35 yuan each month for their Covid tests.

This has caused much criticism from residents.

Langzhong in Sichuan Province has recently asked the public to conduct the nucleic acid testing at their own expense from the beginning of June. Even though there was no outbreak in the area, the citizens were still required to pay for tests each week. The action attracted a lot of criticism from the public.

To appease the public’s dissatisfaction, the officials have reversed their decision and replaced compulsory tests with “voluntary testing.”

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