China zero-Covid path to stay, but will “incrementally” ease: premier

China’s premier Li Keqiang on Friday defended the country’s current policy against the Covid-19 pandemic while saying that the government is looking to gradually open up the logistics of goods and the flow of people.

Li hinted that there will be no sudden change from the zero-Covid policy and the country will apply more “scientific and precise” preventions.

One of the key emphases of the policy is to ensure the safety of supply chain and industries, Li said.

Companies and projects that have an important role in supply chain have already been granted easy access domestically.

Nevertheless, it is uncertain whether China will consider opening up its border to foreign visitors soon as Covid cases across the country rebounded sharply in the past two weeks.

Most of those reported cases are asymptomatic.

This new surge of cases has continued to trigger government responses in line with the zero-Covid approach that includes mass testing, local quarantine, and limitations on interprovincial travelling.

As the National People’s Congress is currently commencing in Beijing and more major events such as the Asian Games to come later this year, it is unlikely that China will radically shift away from its zero-Covid measure in 2022.

China currently issues no tourist visa to foreign passport holders, and the authority has stopped granting new passports to citizens since last year.