[Central News Agency] Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Chinese government may announce 10 new COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) management measures to relax the epidemic prevention as soon as the 7th, supplementing the 20 anti-epidemic optimization measures announced in November.

Reuters reported that unnamed sources also mentioned today that China may downgrade the management level of COVID-19 from the current highest level of Class A infectious diseases to the less stringent Class B infectious diseases as soon as January next year.

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China's National Health Commission did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment from Reuters.

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said last week that with the weakening of the pathogenicity of the Omicron virus strain, the popularization of vaccination, and the accumulation of experience in prevention and control, China's epidemic prevention and control is also facing new situations and new tasks.

Since then, many major Chinese cities have begun to lift widespread blockade measures, reduce regular PCR nucleic acid testing, and no longer check negative nucleic acid test certificates in public places such as subway stations and parks.