China relaja algunas medidas contra virus, registra a gente

China relaja algunas medidas contra virus, registra a gente
BEIJING — 

Más ciudades chinas relajaron el jueves algunas restricciones contra el COVID-19, mientras la policía patrullaba las calles para evitar protestas y el Partido Comunista, que gobierna el país, preparaba el funeral de estado del fallecido expresidente Jiang Zemin.

Guangzhou, en el sur; Shijiazhuang, en el norte; Chengdu, en el suroeste, y otras grandes ciudades anunciaron que relajarían sus requisitos de pruebas diagnósticas y controles de movimiento. En algunos lugares se reanudaron los servicios de autobuses y abrieron los mercados.

Los anuncios no mencionaban las protestas del pasado fin de semana en Shanghái, Beijing y al menos otras seis ciudades contra el coste humano de las restricciones antivirus que confinan millones de personas a sus hogares. Pero las fechas y la publicidad de las decisiones apuntaba a que el gobierno del presidente, Xi Jinping, intentaba aplacar el descontento público después de que algunos manifestantes hicieran la incendiaria exigencia de que Xi renunciara.

El jueves no había indicios de protestas, en medio de una fuerte presencia policial. Había quejas en medios sociales de que la policía paraba a la gente al azar para comprobar sus celulares, posiblemente en busca de apps prohibidas como Twitter, en lo que algunos usuarios describieron como una violación de la Constitución china.

“Sobre todo me da miedo convertirnos en el ‘modelo Xinjiang’ y que nos registren con la excusa de que pasamos caminando”, indicaba un mensaje con la firma de Qi Xiaojin en la popular plataforma Sina Weibo, en alusión a la región noroccidental del país donde uigures y otras minorías musulmanas viven bajo una intensa vigilancia.

Los manifestantes han empleado Twitter y otros medios sociales extranjeros para publicitar sus protestas, mientras el Partido Comunista borra videos y fotos de servicios en China.

El gobierno reportó el jueves 36.061 casos nuevos de coronavirus en las últimas 24 horas, incluidos 31.911 asintomáticos.

Mientras tanto, Beijing se preparaba para el funeral de Jiang, que fue líder del partido del gobierno hasta 2002 y presidente hasta el año siguiente. El partido anunció que había muerto el miércoles en Shanghái por leucemia y fallo multiorgánico.

Como es tradición en China, no se invitó a dignatarios extranjeros al acto. El partido aún no ha anunciado la fecha del funeral ni aclarado cómo se verá afectado por los controles contra el virus.

El gobierno de Xi ha prometido reducir las molestias por su estrategia de “cero COVID” con cuarentenas más cortas y otros cambios. Pero afirma que mantendrá una política que ha supuesto multitud de cierres de escuelas y negocios y cortado el acceso a vecindarios enteros.

Las protestas comenzaron el viernes tras la muerte de al menos 10 personas en un incendio en un edificio de apartamentos en Urumqi, Xinjiang. Eso provocó preguntas sobre si los bomberos o las víctimas que trataban de escapar habían encontrado puertas bloqueadas u otras restricciones. Las autoridades lo negaron, pero las muertes se convirtieron en un foco de la frustración de la gente.

El gobierno dice que está haciendo sus restricciones más dirigidas y flexibles, aunque un aumento en los contagios desde octubre ha hecho que funcionarios locales, que se exponen a perder su puesto si se producen brotes en sus regiones, impongan restricciones que algunos consideran excesivas y destructivas.

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