China scraps virus tracking app as country braces for Covid impact

China scraps virus tracking app as country braces for Covid impact

China is preparing for an unprecedented flood of Covid-19 cases, as it dismantles significant portions of its restrictive zero-Covid policy. A top specialist has warned that Omicron variants are spreading swiftly, with signs of an outbreak unsettling the nation’s capital.

China COVID outbreak

Authorities said Monday that the “mobile itinerary cardhealth “‘s tracking feature would be turned off the following day, adding to the ongoing changes.

Changes continued as authorities announced, on Monday, a deactivation of the “mobile-itinerary-card” health tracking function planned for the following day.

The system is separate from the health code scanning system still required in a reduced number of places in China. It tracked people’s travel patterns over the previous 14 days using information from their cell phones. This is in an effort to identify those who had visited cities with areas deemed “high-risk” by authorities.

It had been a point of contention for many Chinese people, due to concerns around data collection and its use by local governments to ban entry to those who have visited a city with a “high-risk zone,” even if they did not go to those areas within that city.

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However, there are concerns about how the nation’s health system will handle a widespread outbreak; as components of the zero-Covid infrastructure are being rapidly dismantled.

Throughout the weekend, some businesses were closed in Beijing, and city streets were largely deserted, as residents either fell ill or feared catching the virus.

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