China gives green light to this, a sign to open borders?

The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) announced on its official website Saturday it has given conditional approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment drug Paxlovid.

It’s the first anti-coronavirus oral drug approved in China. Paxlovid will be used to treat adult patients who have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms with a high risk of experiencing a severe case. These individuals include especially those who have underlying problems like chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease, according to the NMPA announcement on Saturday.

The news prompted a slew of speculations on China’s social media platforms. Netizens wondered whether the approval, a clear sign of nodding that China will open its borders soon or relax its tight pandemic-fighting policies.

Experts said the approval of Paxlovid will boost the public’s confidence amid the fight against COVID-19 as it offers an additional option for the country to treat COVID-19 patients. It, however, doesn’t imply that China is giving up on its “dynamic zero case” strategy and choosing to “live with the virus,” the experts said.

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