Perspectives: China’s Zero-Covid Policy Questioned As Omicron Outbreak Spreads
Headline Roundup March 26th, 2022
As the U.S. and other leading nations are learning to live with the COVID-19 virus, many analysts are starting to question the effectiveness of China's zero-Covid policy.
After the first wave of COVID-19 swept over the city of Wuhan in early 2020, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started enforcing a zero-COVID policy. The strategy included a number of restrictive measures including mass lockdowns, intensive digital tracking, and shutting down factories. While this prevented a COVID-19 outbreak for a large stretch of the pandemic, China is now facing a surge of the highly infectious Omicron variant and overfilled hospitals.
Many perspectives across the spectrum have attributed China's recent COVID-19 outbreak to its government's ineffective zero-Covid policy. CNN (Left bias) and other left-rated outlets highlighted how China's "inability to bring its latest outbreak under control" has resulted in Chinese citizens protesting that "the health measures are more onerous than the illness." Some right-rated voices such as Jim Geraghty from National Review (Right bias) believe that recent events have exposed how China's zero-Covid policy "just delays the problem instead of stopping it," crediting the U.S. pandemic response as "frustrating" but "sound." He also pointed to the ineffectiveness of the Chinese-manufactured vaccines and emphasized the benefit of having "natural immunity on top of your vaccine immunity."
On the menu today: It’s understandable if you never want to read another word about Covid-19 again, but while the U.S. has the pandemic in its rear-view mirror, the Omicron variant has arrived in China and Hong Kong, and the Chinese government, following its “zero Covid” philosophy, is trying to deal with a super-contagious variant by locking down anyplace it appears. As you can imagine, it’s not going well — and perhaps illustrating that as frustrating and flawed as the U.S. response to Covid-19 was, a “zero covid” approach just...
For two years, people in China have largely tolerated living under some of the world’s most stringent Covid-19 controls.
Restricted borders, constant digital tracking, and the potential for mass testing and snap lockdowns whenever a handful of cases appeared were all trade-offs for a comparatively Covid-free life while the pandemic raged overseas.
But China’s inability to bring its latest outbreak under control so far has prompted online rumblings from frustrated citizens, as questions about Beijing’s zero-Covid strategy break into the mainstream for the first time.
In the tech hub of Shenzhen on...
Across China, many medical workers are becoming overwhelmed—not by a wave of critically ill Covid-19 patients, but by a wave of not very sick ones.
Apart from a few weeks in early 2020 in the city of Wuhan, hospitals in China haven’t experienced the overflowing Covid wards other countries have had to get used to. Instead, in the country’s zeal to stamp out new infections as quickly as possible, the longstanding drill has been to hospitalize every Covid case and quarantine all “close contacts”—including doctors and nurses.
As Covid infections...