Despite the government’s rigorous lockdown policy, China has experienced its first Covid-19 deaths in six months, and thousands more individuals are contracting the illness. China should reevaluate its strategy, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Rising covid across China
In China, there were 26,824 new cases reported on Sunday, November 20 alone. That was almost nearly the climax in April 2022.
According to reports, Covid-19 has claimed the lives of three people in Beijing during the past few days.
In China, there have been numerous new Covid instances recorded. The worst-affected area is in the southern province of Guangdong.
What regulations govern China’s lockdown?
A countrywide lockdown is no longer enforced by China, and some former restrictions have been eased.
However, even if only a few cases of Covid-19 are discovered, the central government is ordering local authorities to implement stringent lockdowns in their regions.
In locations where instances have been reported, widespread testing is being done. People who are diagnosed with Covid-19 are quarantined at a facility under government supervision or isolated at home.
All shops, apart from those selling food, are closed, as are businesses and schools.
Lockdowns continue until no new infections are reported, making it one of the strictest anti-Covid regimes in the world.
Since the most recent Covid-19 wave, tens of millions of people have been living in some sort of lockdown.
The most populated area in Guangzhou, a southern city of over 19 million people, was recently placed under a five-day lockdown.
However, some regulations have been eased.
Instead of 10, those detected with Covid-19 are now simply isolated for eight days: five days at a facility for this purpose, plus three days at home.
For the first time since March 2022, China is also finally permitting foreign arrivals. 48 hours before their arrival, inbound travelers are required to take a Covid test.
Why does China continue to strive for zero COvid?
China is adhering to a policy it calls “dynamic zero” — taking dynamic action wherever Covid-19 flares up in order to eradicate it — in contrast to other nations that have acknowledged they would have to live with the disease to some level.
According to the Chinese government, this strategy prevents deaths since unchecked outbreaks would endanger many vulnerable individuals, including the elderly.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, China’s death toll has remained low due to strict lockdowns; the current official number is little over 5,200.
According to the statistics, there are three Covid deaths per million people in China, compared to 3,000 per million people in the US and 2,400 per million people in the UK.
Why is a zero-Covid policy considered bad by the WHO?
At the beginning of the epidemic, China was cited as an example of a nation managing the virus rather successfully.
However, the WHO has stated that because the current Omicron version is more contagious than other types, it is exceedingly difficult to contain it from spreading throughout China.
“The virus is evolving, changing its behaviour,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu of the WHO. “With that… changing your measures will be very important.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping says the zero-Covid policy is “scientific and effective”, and the government has said the WHO’s suggested change of policy would “inevitably lead to the deaths of a large number of elderly people”.
Does increasing vaccinations work?
In China, less than 20% of those 80 and older have had a booster shot, and only about half of those have received their initial vaccines.
Less than 60% of people in the 60–69 age range have received all of their recommended vaccinations. China has been promoting vaccination among the elderly.
These older age groups have the highest mortality rates from COVID-19.
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