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The short-notice reopening of the country made 2022 a tough year for the health sector in China, where divestments, cash crunches and commercial challenges abounded. Throughout the year, despite clinical trial activity continuing to blossom, multiple Chinese innovative drug developers faced setbacks in the US from regulatory rejections of oncology products. Meanwhile, others quietly scaled back their operations in China, hit by the negative impact of deep price cuts.
Incoming visitors won't be required to be centrally quarantined in designated facilities starting 8 January while the national health authority also calls to stockpile three months supply of antivirals to tackle acute shortages across the nation.
As citizens in China grapple with the virtual end of pandemic restrictions and rush for medicines from cold remedies to traditional options, even some prescription antivirals such as Paxlovid are appearing online, while cheaper but unauthorized Indian generic versions have quickly sold out. Meanwhile, a renewed vaccination effort is targeting high-risk individuals and second booster shots as the country faces a huge surge in cases.
Three years since the first cluster of SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported in Wuhan, China has finally put the first nail in the coffin of its strict "COVID Zero" policies. But as Beijing begins to relax its most restrictive rules, citizens remain concerned about ballooning infections, while a low vaccination rate among seniors and vaccine fatigue appear to be dimming hopes of a quick revitalization of the hard-hit economy and bruised consumer confidence.
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