On November 14, Shijiazhuang City, the capital of Hebei Province, announced it would “optimize and adjust pandemic prevention and control measures.” It’s closing free nucleic acid testing sites in the city, and it is rumored that there will be no more nucleic acid certificate checks in public. Unexpectedly after the sudden notice of the authorities, people were so scared that they did not dare to go out. Most students did not even dare to go to school.

According to the Hebei Provincial Health and Medical Committee, on the morning of November 14, Zhang Chaochao, Secretary of the Shijiazhuang Party Committee, announced that the optimization and adjustment of the pandemic prevention measures are specific actions to implement 20 solutions of the central government to optimize pandemic prevention and control further, prevent the imposition of stringent anti-pandemic measures and increase codes (health code, passcode, …). But the report also said that this is by no means doing nothing or managing nothing, nor is it a “complete liberation.”

According to Shaoxing, Shijiazhuang no longer conducts mandatory nucleic acid testing for all residents but only conducts nucleic acid tests for crucial groups of people and people with critical working positions. The staff of the Shijiazhuang Health and Medical Commission also confirmed that, since November 14, Shijiazhuang had closed free nucleic acid testing facilities in the city.

According to official media reports, on November 14, many places announced the cancellation or suspension of nucleic acid testing for all residents in the area.

But now, Shijiazhuang has more than 500 new cases every day. According to the Hebei Provincial Health and Medical Committee, on November 13, there were three more confirmed COVID-19 cases and 541 asymptomatic cases in Shijiazhuang City.

According to Sound of Hope, some residents said: “It’s been lifted, but I’m a little scared. From now on, there will be no nucleic acid testing in public places, and nucleic acid sampling points were also canceled. Meanwhile, over 500 new cases occurred in a day. All kindergartens and primary schools were allowed to reopen. Suddenly relaxing restrictions like that made everyone dare not go out.

In an online video, on November 14, the first day Shijiazhuang lifted anti-pandemic regulations, only two students came to class in one elementary school. They wore masks, stood in front of the classroom door, but didn’t dare to enter, and there were no other students in the classroom.

All other students were absent due to illness.

Residents reflected that many residential areas and units had issued notices saying that public places would no longer impose anti-pandemic measures and would no longer carry out nucleic acid testing at the entrance of residences.

Netizens said that Shijiazhuang’s sudden lifting of anti-pandemic regulations made people afraid to go out. The residence is still just as quiet as before.

A local netizen said, “Except for the risk areas, all shops in Shijiazhuang are open today, including barber shops. Today, the residence is also not doing nucleic acid testing for all residents. It seems Shijiazhuang really wants to let go first.”

However, a netizen revealed why Shijiazhuang was suddenly lifted from the lockdown and control. “Shijiazhuang is a city that has been named and criticized for its excessive pandemic prevention. Beijing has come up with 20 measures to optimize pandemic prevention and control further, so local officials must show a little, or else they will not be able to keep their hats.”

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