When the train was halfway to the capital, officials in protective gear stopped it, boarded it, and shouted over the loudspeakers that everyone on board had to get off because one of the passengers had been connected to a Covid cluster.
Early in the pandemic, the majority of Chinese people complied with these demands because they trusted the government to know what it was doing. The authorities are no longer able to rely on such obedience. Then, travelers yelled back: “No! Why do we need to leave? How was this person allowed to board the train? “However, they were shortly taken by bus to a facility for isolation hundreds of kilometers away.
These actions are a part of China’s steadfast “zero Covid” agenda. There is no other road that is acceptable, President Xi Jinping has consistently cautioned. The nation has been kept enclosed in a massive Covid protection bubble since the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
This has protected the populace from the high death rates experienced elsewhere, but it has come at a cost and increased political risk. Major civil unrest is what the Communist Party in China fears the most, and Mr. Xi does not want to see this as he prepares to enter an unprecedented third term at a Party conference later this year.
There is uncertainty China is the only big economy that continues to put the fight against the virus before practically everything else, while the rest of the world is attempting to live with Covid.
More About Zero Covid Agenda
Supposed zero Mass testing, tracking, and rigorous isolation are all components of COVID procedures. A citywide shutdown can be sparked by a small number of incidents. Although there haven’t been many illnesses in Beijing recently, more than 21 million citizens must wait in line for PCR tests every three days in order to enter public facilities, including corner shops.
A whole suburb can be quickly sealed off when a Covid case is confirmed. Businesses have particularly struggled; you may see stores, bars, and restaurants permanently removing their shutters. Everyone in China currently resides in a state of uncertainty. Making plans is challenging, and one wonders how much longer people will put up with this. The Party should be concerned if it isn’t already.
If Shanghai’s citizens were once again confined to their houses, it would not be difficult to see rioting. China hasn’t yet indicated that it will change its Covid strategy. The entire globe is watching and wondering why. There are, in essence, two causes: politics and vaccines. The vaccination rate in China is still too low.
China’s immunization rates, which are still regarded as being too low for the nation to safely reopen, are a mystery. Officials worry that a widespread epidemic could strain hospitals and result in a large number of fatalities.
Professor Liang Wannian from China’s National Health Commission stated in March that “we can’t just give in” since “certain vulnerable populations haven’t been adequately vaccinated with two doses or booster shots. “Despite the fact that 89 percent of people have had two vaccinations, only 56 percent of those who are eligible have obtained a booster dose, according to official data.