China reports 2 new COVID deaths as some restrictions eased

Dec 3, 2022, 10:39 AM | Updated: Dec 4, 2022, 7:38 pm
A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open ...

A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

              A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents with their children and toddlers play on the green outside a reopened mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man flies kite near residents get their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman and a child fly kite on a green outside a mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A couple carrying a bag of groceries walk by residents who line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A child rides a skateboard through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              An elderly man puts on his mask after getting his routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site displaying a poster which encourages elderly citizen to get vaccination in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs as a worker load goods onside a van outside a supermarket in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Women with their children walk through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman has her routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man wearing a face mask holds his testing tube as masked residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents with their children and toddlers play on the green outside a reopened mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man flies kite near residents get their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman and a child fly kite on a green outside a mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A couple carrying a bag of groceries walk by residents who line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A child rides a skateboard through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              An elderly man puts on his mask after getting his routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site displaying a poster which encourages elderly citizen to get vaccination in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs as a worker load goods onside a van outside a supermarket in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Women with their children walk through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman has her routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man wearing a face mask holds his testing tube as masked residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents with their children and toddlers play on the green outside a reopened mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man flies kite near residents get their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman and a child fly kite on a green outside a mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A couple carrying a bag of groceries walk by residents who line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A child rides a skateboard through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              An elderly man puts on his mask after getting his routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site displaying a poster which encourages elderly citizen to get vaccination in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs as a worker load goods onside a van outside a supermarket in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Women with their children walk through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman has her routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man wearing a face mask holds his testing tube as masked residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman wearing a face mask looks at masked man holding a dog as they walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents with their children and toddlers play on the green outside a reopened mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man flies kite near residents get their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman and a child fly kite on a green outside a mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A couple carrying a bag of groceries walk by residents who line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A child rides a skateboard through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              An elderly man puts on his mask after getting his routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site displaying a poster which encourages elderly citizen to get vaccination in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs as a worker load goods onside a van outside a supermarket in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              People wearing face masks walk through a reopened open air shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Women with their children walk through a deserted walkway outside a closed shopping mall in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A woman has her routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents line up in freezing cold temperatures for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              A man wearing a face mask holds his testing tube as masked residents line up for their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions amid increasingly vocal public frustration over the measures. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
            
              Residents walk away after finding COVID test stations unexpectedly closed in Beijing, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
            
              A worker passes by flowers displayed for a new shop opening as restrictions are eased in Beijing, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
            
              Residents go about their life with some shops re-opening for business as restrictions are eased in Beijing, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
            
              Shoppers return to a mall with shops re-opening for business as restrictions are eased in Beijing, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

HONG KONG (AP) — China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions following increasingly vocal public frustrations.

The National Health Commission said one death was reported each in the provinces of Shandong and Sichuan. No information was given about the ages of the victims or whether they had been fully vaccinated.

China, where the virus first was detected in late 2019 in the central city of Wuhan, is the last major country trying to stop transmission completely through quarantines, lockdowns and mass testing. Concerns over vaccination rates are believed to figure prominently in the ruling Communist Party’s determination to stick to its hard-line strategy.

While nine in 10 Chinese have been vaccinated, only 66% of people over 80 have gotten one shot while 40% have received a booster, according to the commission. It said 86% of people over 60 are vaccinated.

Given those figures and the fact that relatively few Chinese have built up antibodies by being exposed to the virus, some fear millions could die if restrictions were lifted entirely.

Yet, an outpouring of public anger appears to have prompted authorities to lift some of the more onerous restrictions, even as they say the “zero-COVID” strategy — which aims to isolate every infected person — is still in place.

The demonstrations, the largest and most widely spread in decades, erupted Nov. 25 after a fire in an apartment building in the northwestern city of Urumqi killed at least 10 people. That set off angry questions online about whether firefighters or victims trying to escape were blocked by locked doors or other anti-virus controls. Authorities denied that, but the deaths became a focus of public frustration.

The country saw several days of protests across cities including Shanghai and Beijing, with protesters demanding an easing of COVID-19 curbs. Some demanded Chinese President Xi Jinping step down, an extraordinary show of public dissent in a society over which the ruling Communist Party exercises near total control.

Beijing and some other Chinese cities announced that riders can board buses and subways without a virus test for the first time in months. The requirement has led to complaints from some Beijing residents that even though the city has shut many testing stations, most public venues still require COVID-19 tests.

On Sunday, China announced another 35,775 cases from the past 24 hours, 31,607 of which were asymptomatic, bringing its total to 336,165 with 5,235 deaths.

While many have questioned the accuracy of the Chinese figures, they remain relatively low compared to the U.S. and other nations which are now relaxing controls and trying to live with the virus that has killed at least 6.6 million people worldwide and sickened almost 650 million.

China still imposes mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers even as its infection numbers are low compared to its 1.4 billion population.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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China reports 2 new COVID deaths as some restrictions eased