Omicron Vs Zero-Covid: How Long Can China Hold On?
Most countries are now attempting to live with coronavirus; how long will China be able to maintain its “zero-Covid” goal?
Finding A Happy Medium
As the rest of the globe dealt with rising numbers of cases and deaths in 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping hailed the country’s pandemic response, which included lockdowns and mass testing, a success, and praised the country’s procedures as the most effective.
As a result, both mainland China and Hong Kong strictly enforced the zero-Covid approach. However, things began to shift quickly. When authorities in China were compelled to impose progressively large lockdowns provoked by the more infectious Delta variety in 2021,
the much-vaunted zero-Covid paradigm began to show indications of strain. These developments raised concerns about China’s ability to maintain its policies indefinitely. And now Omicron has brought it into doubt even more.
Thousands of cases are now being recorded every day on mainland China, and millions of people in the north-eastern province of Jilin have been placed under lockdown, the first time China has done so since the pandemic began in Wuhan. Hong Kong, which had previously been relatively immune to the virus, now has 30,000 cases and more than 200 deaths per day.
The city’s healthcare system is overwhelmed, as evidenced by disturbing photographs of people in need of hospital care obtaining minimal treatment outside of medical facilities. It’s a circumstance that the country hasn’t witnessed in the last two years. The Chinese government has been steadfast in its zero-Covid stance. However, there are some indications that it is modifying its stance on how to effectively deal with the infection.
China’s National Health Commission announced earlier this week that it was altering its standards to allow mild cases to be isolated in central locations rather than being treated in hospitals.
The requirements for a patient’s release from quarantine have also been lowered. Prof Jin Dong-yan of The University of Hong Kong told the BBC that “in the past, China would genuinely admit every patient – whether they were asymptomatic or with very slight symptoms – to the hospital.”
“The fact that they’re now proposing to [locally isolate] them is one step toward demonstrating that they recognise there’s a significant group of people that don’t require much assistance.”
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang remarked during a recent National People’s Congress meeting that China would continue to make its Covid-19 reaction more “scientific and focused.” “[Premier Li’s statement] suggests that the government is willing to be more flexible and progressively ease limitations,” said Prof Chen Gang of Singapore’s National University.
To know More Updates Please Follow and Subscribe to Our Channel:-