China’s Zero Covid Strategy: A “Perfect System”?

Status: 11/29/2021 2:21 p.m.

While the new Corona variant Omikron is spreading worldwide, no cases of infection with the mutation are known in China. The country sees itself confirmed in its restrictive zero-Covid strategy.

By Benjamin Eyssel, ARD-Studio Beijing

After the global outbreaks of the corona virus in the new Omikron variant, the Chinese government sees its strict zero-Covid course confirmed. The propaganda newspaper “Global Times” writes that the People’s Republic is an invincible bulwark against the virus. The dynamic zero-covid strategy is a perfect system, the newspaper continues. In addition, society would willingly participate.

Benjamin Eyssel
ARD-Studio Peking

However, in the authoritarian-ruled country of the Communist Party, the people also have no other choice. Because since the outbreak in late 2019, early 2020 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the state and party leadership in the country of origin of the corona virus has taken tough action against the pandemic. There are always local outbreaks, often only a few cases a day. More than 100 cases are rare.

Strict government measures

When such outbreaks occur, there are strict lockdowns, curfew, travel restrictions, contact follow-ups, and mass testing. Entries into China have been kept to a minimum for over a year and a half. Anyone who is allowed to enter must be in hotel quarantine for several weeks.

“The new omicron variant has only just been discovered and is spreading relatively quickly,” said China’s chief epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan on Chinese state television. “However, it is still too early to say how dangerous and contagious the variant is, whether it leads to more serious symptoms and whether the vaccines have to be adjusted. We will only find out in time.”

China vaccinates a lot and quickly. Infants aged three and over can get a Chinese Covid vaccination. According to official information, a total of almost two and a half billion doses have been inoculated in the People’s Republic – in a population of 1.4 billion people.

No cases so far in mainland China

How well the Chinese corona vaccines work against variants such as Delta or now Omikron is largely unclear. Foreign vaccines are not recognized.

While no Omicron cases have become known in mainland China, the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong has now reported three cases. The first case is apparently a man who entered from South Africa. He is said to have infected another person in his quarantine hotel. One Omicron case reported today involves a man who entered Hong Kong from Nigeria.

Omikron variant: China sees itself confirmed in its strict zero-COVID course

Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Beijing, 29.11.2021 · 13:10

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