Officials say China will remove ‘Mobile Itinerary card’, a Covid-19 trace tracking service, on Tuesday


Officials say China will remove the “Mobile Itinerary card”, a Covid-19 trace tracking service, on Tuesday.

“Mobile Travel program card inquiry channels such as text messages, web pages, WeChat extensions, Alipay extensions and the app will go offline simultaneously,” according to a statement from the country’s Academy of Information and Communication Technologies.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, China has used the itinerary card system to track the 14-day travel history of individuals. The system aims to identify people who have visited cities linked to people’s phone numbers and have any area designated as a “high risk zone” by the authorities.

If a person has been to a city with a “high risk area” in the past 14 days, that city will be marked with an asterisk in the system.

This system, together with a health QR code that tracks the health status of individuals related to Covid-19, determines the movement of people into public spaces across China.

Many Chinese have been criticized on social media for allowing local governments to impose generalized policies that ban visitors from a “high-risk area” city from entering, even if they haven’t been to the area. high risk areas in that city.

The announcement of the end of the system is a sign that the country is moving away from the zero Covid 19 approach after China announced 10 new guidelines last week that loosened some Covid-19 restrictions.

The 10-point plan largely eliminated health code tracking in most public places, reinstated mass testing, allowed many positive cases to be quarantined at home, and placed limits on lockdowns of areas deemed “high risk.”

Senior health officials in Beijing said the changes to the guidelines were based on scientific evidence, including the spread of the relatively milder variant of Omicron, the vaccination rate, and China’s level of experience in responding to the virus.

It follows a wave of protests in China calling for an end to curfews and zero-COVID measures in late November and early December.

Even after much of the world relaxed its pandemic restrictions, China continued to lock down entire cities and send all Covid-19 patients to central quarantine facilities, while restricting others from visiting areas where positive cases were detected.

Thousands took to the streets during the protests, some voicing broader grievances against the censorship and authoritarian leadership of the ruling Communist Party.

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