China's President Xi Jinping addressed the nation just before the New Year on Saturday night, addressing the concerns related to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country in his speech.
China’s abrupt switch earlier this month from the “zero-Covid” policy that it had maintained for nearly three years has led to infections sweeping the country unchecked.
It has also caused a further drop in economic activity and international concern, with Britain and France becoming the latest countries to impose curbs on travellers from China.
"Epidemic prevention and control is entering a new phase... Everyone is working resolutely, and the light of hope is right in front of us," Xi said in a televised address for the New Year.
Jinping also acknowledged that the current wave of COVID-19 sweeping across the country has “entered a new phase” and “tough challenges remain” for China.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked Beijing to provide more data about the coronavirus variants amid India and other countries ramping up measures to screen travellers from the Communist nation.
“We have now entered a new phase of COVID-19 response where tough challenges remain,” Xi said in his New Year address to the nation, adding that it has “not been an easy journey” as the country has to face “unprecedented difficulties and challenges”.
Speaking on national television from behind a desk in a wood-panelled office, Xi said that China’s extraordinary efforts have helped it prevail over unprecedented difficulties.
“With extraordinary efforts, we have prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges and it has not been an easy journey for anyone,” he said without providing much information about the dire situation prevailing in the country.
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