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China to ‘stick to’ zero-covid strategy, says President Xi

  • China has gone from reporting under 100 daily infections just three weeks ago to more than 1,000 a day for over a week.
  • The country registered more than 2,000 cases on Thursday.
  • Millions of people in China are currently being ordered to stay at home.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that the country will “stick to” its zero-Covid strategy, state television reported as the world’s most populous nation battles its biggest outbreak since the early days of the pandemic.

The country where the virus originated in late 2019 has largely kept subsequent outbreaks under control thanks to a combination of strict border controls, long quarantines and targeted shutdowns, and has not reported any coronavirus-related deaths for over a year.

But the highly transferable Omicron variant poses a serious challenge to this strategy, prompting authorities to close cities, including Shenzhen’s southern technology hub, to the homes of 17.5 million people.

The world’s second largest economy has gone from reporting under 100 daily infections just three weeks ago to more than 1,000 a day for over a week.

More than 2,400 cases were reported Thursday, according to the National Health Commission.

At a meeting with China’s top executives, Xi said the country should “continue to put people and lives at the forefront, stick to scientific accuracy and dynamism-zero, and slow down the spread of the epidemic as quickly as possible,” according to the state. TV broadcaster CCTV.

Beijing must “raise the level of scientifically accurate prevention and control and continuously optimize disease control measures,” the report quoted Xi as saying.

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He called for “strengthening key technological areas such as vaccination, rapid testing and drug research” to make virus restrictions more “targeted,” CCTV said.

Xi also called for tighter virus control at ports of entry and stressed the need to “quickly control local grouped outbreaks”.

Tens of millions of people are currently being ordered to stay at home across China to try to eradicate the latest outbreak.

– Flare –

Beijing’s communist leadership has made its handling of the pandemic a matter of political capital, saying the low mortality rate demonstrates the strength of its government model.

Chinese officials are in a hurry to fight outbreaks in several cities, and Chinese officials have also moved to free up hospital beds due to fears that the virus could put the health care system under pressure.

Jilin province in northeastern China – which has reported thousands of cases over the past week – has built eight “makeshift hospitals” and two quarantine centers to stem the rise in infections.

State news media this week aired footage of dozens of giant cranes assembling temporary medical facilities in Jilin, which has only about 23,000 hospital beds for about 24 million inhabitants.

Authorities also said people with mild cases could isolate themselves at central quarantine facilities after previously sending all patients with symptoms to specialist hospitals.

The recent flare-ups have caused long queues to form outside mass test sites and seen tight controls in ports, which has increased fears of trade disruption.

In Shanghai – China’s largest city and home to 25 million people – authorities have closed school campuses, locked down some residential areas and launched a rigorous mass test, according to state media.


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China to ‘stick to’ zero-covid strategy, says President Xi

Source link China to ‘stick to’ zero-covid strategy, says President Xi

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