Beijing — China’s long-promoted “zero-COVID” strategy as a scientific and effective countermeasure against the worldwide coronavirus epidemic appears to be failing. Friday marked the second consecutive day that Chinese authorities reported a record number of COVID-19 cases.
Thursday marked the largest number of new cases since the virus was first found in the Wuhan area of central China at the end of 2019. Multiple large cities have implemented additional residential lockdowns and commercial closures in response to the escalating caseload.
Despite the fact that the increase in infections raises major doubts about the efficiency of the efforts adopted by the ruling Communist Party with the claimed objective of eliminating the disease entirely, the figure is dwarfed by the number of cases in many other affluent nations.
The United States reported 36,030 new cases on Thursday, despite having a population that is barely a fifth of that of China.
But Beijing maintains its stance. Instead of tolerating increased infection rates and relying on vaccinations to reduce hospitalizations and serious cases, like in the United States and other big economies, Chinese officials are intensifying efforts to eradicate the virus totally.
China upholds its “zero-COVID” policy despite an increase in instances and economic concerns. 05:47
Under the concepts of zero-COVID, which has become President Xi Jinping’s trademark policy, affected individuals and their close connections are isolated to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
The strategy has been challenging for China’s quarantined population and closed enterprises, especially considering that other nations appear to coexist with the sickness.
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Nomura, a Japanese financial services company, believes that places presently under lockdown contributed more than a fifth of China’s gross domestic product historically (GDP).
The failure of China’s officials to drastically alter their response to the epidemic has prompted a growing public backlash, which is unusual in the country’s strictly controlled culture.
People wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and residents wait to be swabbed for COVID-19 on November 25, 2022, at a testing location in Beijing, China. JADE GAO/AFP/Getty
Videos have made their way onto international social media networks and chat applications, demonstrating an increase in dissident voices despite censorship within the country.
In one video, a resident of Chongqing, a megacity in western China where residents have endured weeks of intermittent lockdowns in different areas, is heard passionately quoting one of America’s founding fathers, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” outside what appears to be one of the city’s residential compounds.
— 自由飞翔2022 (@kaxl free) November 24, 2022
Locals in Guangzhou, where lockdowns have been in effect since the beginning of November, were observed (above) hurling metal bars torn from the flimsy metal barricades erected to restrict their movement within their own community.
A fire in a residential building in the city of Urumqi, where partial lockdowns have been in effect for more than 100 days, killed ten people in the country’s far west. Firefighters were unable to access the property for hours due to the gates that had been erected to keep the occupants inside.