China suspends Covid policy critics’ social media accounts.

China has deactivated over 1,000 social media accounts, some of which had millions of followers, that criticized the government’s Covid policies.

Weibo, a social media platform, said it had suspended or banned accounts for what it called personal attacks on Chinese Covid specialists.

Weibo did not say which posts triggered the action.

China abandoned its strict zero-Covid policy in December, resulting in a rapid increase in infections and deaths.

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Until recently, most online criticism centered on the strict enforcement of Covid regulations, such as lockdowns that required people to stay at home in isolation for weeks.

Recent posts, however, have targeted experts who have defended the abrupt decision to lift restrictions after previously supporting them.

Weibo reported nearly 13,000 violations, including attacks on experts, scholars, and medical personnel. 1,120 accounts have received temporary or permanent bans.

“It is not acceptable to insult people who hold opposing views, or to publish personal attacks and views that incite conflicts,” Weibo said in a statement.

Any action that is detrimental to the [Weibo] community will be taken seriously.”

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There have been reports of hospitals and crematoriums being overcrowded since China abandoned key parts of the zero-Covid policy in response to historic protests against the policy.

However, China has stopped publishing daily case data and has only announced 22 Covid deaths since December, based on its own stringent criteria.

On Saturday, China observed the first day of the 40-day Lunar New Year period, which is known as the world’s largest annual migration of people.

According to the Ministry of Transport, more than two billion passengers are expected to travel over the next 40 days, an increase of 99.5% year on year and reaching 70% of trip numbers in 2019.

This has sparked widespread concern that the festival will see another wave of infections, particularly in rural areas lacking ICU beds and ventilators.

From Sunday, China will no longer require foreign visitors to quarantine, allowing many Chinese to travel abroad for the first time in nearly three years.

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