Questions mounting over China’s zero Covid policy

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Millions of people in Shanghai, young and old, seem to be united by their rising anger against the Chinese authorities for their high-handed approach to Covid containment…reports Asian Lite News

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread in more and more cities in China, questions are mounting over the country’s zero covid policy.

Mainland China reported 2,666 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 51 more deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s National Health Commission said on Monday.

Of the new cases, 2,472 infections were reported in Shanghai while the rest of the cases were reported in 17 other provincial-level regions.

China has witnessed an increase in outbreaks across the country and the number of cases has grown rapidly.

Since the month of March, the number of local coronavirus cases has exceeded 500,000 with the epidemic emerging and rebounding in many places.

In an editorial published by the state media outlet Global Times, the newspaper stated that it is more important for China to adhere to the general policy of “dynamic zero” as the essence of this policy is high speed and accuracy.

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The English language daily said the past experience has proven that the “dynamic zero” strategy which aims to tamp down the outbreak once it’s detected is effective and correct.

“Facing the Omicron variant which is featured by rapid spread, strong concealment, and a short incubation period, ‘fighting with speed’ is still the key to prevention and control,” the editorial said.

According to GT, some regions arbitrarily close off highways with the excuse of epidemic prevention and control, some impose “static management” even if no infections have been reported.

Other places prohibit farmers from farming even if there is no COVID-19 outbreak locally. “These practices are all twisting the dynamic zero-COVID policy,” the newspaper said.

Food shortage in Shanghai

Millions of people in Shanghai, young and old, seem to be united by their rising anger against the Chinese authorities for their high-handed approach to Covid containment.

Amidst China’s zero-Covid policy and the draconian lockdown measures, the people of Shanghai are reeling under extreme starvation which has severely affected the civilians, reported Steven Jiang, the Beijing Bureau Chief of CNN.

Moreover, the government has announced any residential community with a single new positive case to be sealed for an additional 14 days.

According to the authorities, the food shortage has been a largely man-made disaster owing to a lack of planning and coordination. Also, taking advantage of the lockdown, online retailers are charging almost four times the usual amount, found in the market.

Further, despite official pledges, government handouts have been unreliable in many parts of Shanghai with the elderly crowd mostly failing to secure supplies through online bulk purchases, which is the only way to buy anything in the city at the moment, due to their relatively small demand and lack of tech-savviness, reported Steven Jiang, the Beijing Bureau Chief of CNN.

Brutal stories have emerged which show the chaos during the lockdown. People are sneaking outside to deliver food to their neighbours, some are left in hastily-built isolation wards with leaking roofs and overflowing toilets, while parents are restricted to meet their children, and family members are forbidden to pay their last rites to the deceased.

Shanghai residents are also witnessing that Chinese propaganda rulers are ramping up their efforts, portraying Omicron as the most potentially dangerous menace while emphasising that only zero-Covid can save China from the numerous deaths caused by the virus as per Steven Jiang, the Beijing Bureau Chief of CNN.

Officials have made it quite apparent that the Zero-covid policy is approved by Xi Jinping. Later this year, Jinping is assumed to be elected to an almost unprecedented third term, making way for him to reign for his entire life. (ANI)

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