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Friday, July 19, 2024

Increasing Covid Cases in China Could Force China to Drop Its Zero COVID Regime

For the past two years, China has been battling a deadly virus. COVID-19, a corona virus, has been causing a global health concern. It has claimed thousands of lives in China and countless more around the world. The government has tried to curb the spread of the disease through an aggressive approach that includes strict quarantine and lockdowns, strict business shutdowns, and strict border controls. But the virus is still spreading. The latest case numbers are climbing, and they could force the Chinese regime to drop its long-standing pandemic policy.

During an outbreak in early 2020, the government began a campaign to control the virus and contain it. In doing so, it put millions of people under lockdown, slowed the country’s economy, and roiled supply chains. It also sparked a wave of protests, including direct criticism of President Xi Jinping. This has not stopped the government from continuing to maintain its zero-Covid policies.

Closed China: why Xi Jinping is sticking with his zero-Covid policy | Financial Times

In the first weeks of the outbreak, China’s zero-Covid policy was effective. It kept the number of cases below five per day, and it was able to keep the death toll low. But the virus is now gaining momentum, and the government is facing a public backlash. The government is making minor changes, but it is unclear whether the new approach will have an impact on the reality of the situation.

The new approach has had little room for science-based measures, like vaccines, which have been proven to protect against some severe diseases. A recent study found that Beijing is too hesitant to let go of its zero-COVID policies. The study also shows that there are differences in opinions among medical professionals and the general public about the effectiveness of the strategy.

The zero-COVID policy has become a major public-health and economic threat to China. Local governments have not eased the strictness of the measures. Instead, officials have punished those who allowed the infection to spread. This has included the removal of officials who did not abide by the policies. In response to the growing pressure, a few cities have relaxed some public health restrictions. Others have reimposed restrictions to prevent travelers from entering their cities, or forced workers to sleep in factories.

Experts see China stuck in a slowly evolving 'COVID zero' loop | The Japan Times

In response to these challenges, the Chinese government has been implementing a 20-point plan to contain the outbreak and limit the spread of the virus. The plan calls for building more intensive treatment facilities and stockpiling anti-viral drugs. It also calls for relaxing quarantine regulations, reducing travel restrictions, and improving vaccination rates among the elderly.

While the changes are welcome, some experts say the country continues to lag in areas that are key to its preparedness. For example, the government has yet to approve a mRNA vaccine that could be used to fight Covid. This has led to a buildup of experience in the field of outbreak control and prevention. Having a vaccination rate that is higher than the rest of the world can help China combat the disease, but it does not guarantee a cure.

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