‘Gold Medal for Epidemic Response’ – Xi Jinping praises China’s Covid-19 response

  • Shanghai in China is battling a Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Despite this, President Xi Jinping praised the country’s response.
  • The city’s residents are under phased lockdown.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday praised the country’s “tested” zero-Covid strategy, even as Shanghai authorities prepared nearly 130,000 beds for Covid-19 patients amid rising cases and growing public anger.

Until March, China had kept matters low with localized shutdowns, mass tests and strict restrictions on international travel.

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But the country has reported thousands of daily cases in recent weeks where the economic hub and outbreak epicenter of Shanghai has been shut down over balloon infections of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Authorities in Shanghai said Friday that 130,000 new beds were ready or under construction for Covid-19-positive residents of the city in temporary locations, including exhibition halls.

The city reported more than 21,000 new infections Friday, the vast majority asymptomatic.

Still, President Xi on Friday praised the country’s Covid-19 response and said at an event to honor Olympic athletes that the country’s handling of the recent Winter Games showed that its virus policy “again withstood the test”.

Xi said at the ceremony in Beijing:

Some foreign athletes told us that if there was a gold medal for epidemic response, it should be awarded to China.

Zero tolerance approach

Shanghai’s approximately 25 million inhabitants were locked down in phases last week, leading to scenes of panic buying and mass testing.

Residents have started gnawing at the restrictions, and some have gone on social media to complain about food shortages and express outrage over the killing of a pet corgi by health professionals.

Meanwhile, officials softened a policy of separating Covid-19-positive children from their virus-free parents after the rule sparked public outrage.

But Beijing is sticking to its zero-tolerance approach and is determined to stem the outbreak in Shanghai by sending 38,000 medical workers and 2,000 soldiers from across the country to the city as reinforcements.

Members of a medical assistant team attend a farewell ceremony at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport before traveling to Shanghai to help curb the new coronavirus.

The state-run newspaper People’s Daily declared on Friday that zero-Covid remained the “best choice” for China, arguing that the country “should never get numb, never get tired of fighting and never get slack”.

China, the country where coronavirus was first discovered in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, is among the last remaining places in the world after a zero-Covid approach to the pandemic.

The eruption has taken on an increasingly serious economic dimension, with China’s factory production falling to a two-year low in March, according to independent indices released by Chinese media group Caixin.

Scientists have warned China could suffer a “colossal outbreak” that would overwhelm its medical system if it abruptly eased restrictions.

But WHO Regional Director for the West Pacific Takeshi Kasai warned on Thursday that the “human and social costs of shutdowns are significant”.

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‘Gold Medal for Epidemic Response’ – Xi Jinping praises China’s Covid-19 response

Source link ‘Gold Medal for Epidemic Response’ – Xi Jinping praises China’s Covid-19 response

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