Shanghai suggests lockdown may end soon as pressure grows on China’s ‘zero-Covid’ policy

Shanghai suggests lockdown may end soon as pressure grows on China’s ‘zero-Covid’ policy

Officials in Shanghai, which has been on lockdown for weeks as officials battle China’s worst coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic, said Friday that they aimed to achieve zero cases outside quarantine by May 20. To get more news about shanghai pandemic, you can visit shine news official website.

That could allow restrictions to be eased in the city of 26 million people, where residents have complained of food shortages and mental health challenges as the lockdown has been extended multiple times.

As the rest of the world moves to live with the virus, China’s Covid strategy is drawing more scrutiny, including rare criticism from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, who said it was not sustainable in the face of the highly transmissible omicron variant.Considering the behavior of the virus, I think a shift will be very important,” he said at a news conference this week, adding that he had discussed the issue with Chinese experts.

His comments came after President Xi Jinping reaffirmed his commitment to China’s Covid strategy, which has kept cases and deaths far below those in the United States and other countries. A shift in course could threaten his plan to secure an unprecedented third term at a Chinese Communist Party congress later this year, analysts say.

At a meeting led by Xi last week, the party’s top leaders pledged to “unswervingly adhere to the general policy of ‘dynamic zero-Covid,’ and resolutely fight against any words and deeds that distort, doubt or deny our country’s epidemic prevention policies.” The message sent the Shanghai government scrambling to double down on anti-Covid measures, as some residents who had been allowed limited movement for the first time in weeks were ordered back into their homes. Others reported hazmat-suited workers known as “Big Whites” forcing their way into people’s homes to carry out disinfection and carting off whole buildings of people to quarantine if one resident tested positive.

Tedros’ comments were swiftly suppressed by Chinese censors, who removed a post from the United Nations account on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, and blocked users from searching for his name.

Asked about his comments, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China’s Covid policy was based on “national realities” and that officials were adjusting anti-epidemic measures based on changing conditions.

“We hope relevant people will look at China’s Covid policy in an objective and rational light, learn more about the facts and refrain from making irresponsible remarks,” he said at a news conference Wednesday.Zhao pointed to a study published this week in the journal Nature, which said an uncontrolled omicron outbreak in China could result in a “tsunami” of cases and 1.55 million deaths, mostly among unvaccinated people 60 and older. Chinese leaders fear a repeat of this year’s deadly omicron outbreak in its territory of Hong Kong, which like mainland China had a low vaccination rate among older people.

Jin Dong-yan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said the model in the Nature study is at odds with the real-world data coming out of Shanghai, where there have been more than 600,000 cases since March 1 and fewer than 600 deaths.

Publicado en Imagenes | Fotos en agosto 14 at 07:23
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