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From pandemic heroes to villains: China's COVID army faces the axe

Millions of virus workers at risk of losing jobs as Beijing eases curbs

Pandemic prevention workers put on gear before starting work at quarantined residential buildings in Beijing on Dec. 8.   © Reuters

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI -- Sun Si worked at a COVID-19 checkpoint in a small Chinese town, earning crucial income after the new graduate struggled to find a job during the pandemic.

But Sun and her colleagues were fired this week as Beijing dismantled some of the world's toughest virus curbs in its biggest rollback yet of a policy that relied on citywide lockdowns and mass testing.

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