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With prices rising, how long can China keep ‘zero COVID’? | | Coronavirus Plague News

Hong Kong, China – On January 23, 2020, China produced a “zero COVID”.

In the face of the threat of a mysterious virus, regulators in Wuhan established the world’s first closure of 11 million inhabitants, which marks the beginning of zero tolerance measures that could explain the Chinese epidemic response.

Two years later, the proliferation of Omicron coronavirus and the rising cost of control raises questions about China’s stability. But despite these differences pushing other parts of the world into the virus, China must continue to work towards addressing economic and social crises that have closed frequently and closed borders, according to experts.

“Omicron threatens zero-Covid data more than ever before,” Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, told Al Jazeera, referring to the spread of coronavirus, which he believes is spreading to both countries. three times easier than the Delta type.

“Based on the existing equipment on the surface, I think they will be able to improve even the spread of Omicron. But it will take a lot of resources and cause a lot of disruption to the project.”

Chinese officials are rushing to resolve disputes ahead of the Cold Olympics, which will open on February 4 in Beijing. On Monday, authorities reported 223 cases across the country, which have risen sharply in nearly two years, though cases have dropped twice in recent days.

The Chinese city of Wuhan became the first place in the world to be closed on January 23, 2020. [File: Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE]

After a An office bearer in Beijing became the first person at headquarters to test for Omicron on Sunday, local authorities immediately closed his living quarters and offices, closing the staff in the house.

In condemning the virus in a letter from Canada, Chinese officials also urged people to limit their purchases of foreign goods and to send foreign letters with caution, although foreign experts are skeptical of such a possibility.

Prior to the release of Omicron, authorities in recent weeks launched a Delta expansion into Xi’an, Shanxi province, with a massive closure that has led to food shortages and the loss of at least two women.

But when one plague was on them, new ones have sprouted all over the country.

In recent waves, 69 family groups were found in Tianjin, which shares a border with Beijing. The city tested its entire population of 14 million in two days, which a Global Times report cited as evidence of China’s “immediate miracle” of the virus.

Across the border, Hong Kong has expanded its reach to accommodate the growing Omicron team, suspending face-to-face training at schools, closing bars and nightclubs, and setting up 6pm dining at restaurants.

This week, seniors ordered the massacre of 2,000 hamsters and small animals, in reference to the risk of human trafficking – which has no direct evidence – after realizing the first case of Delta’s three-month difference in retailer at a pet store.

Jin Dong-Yan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, told Al Jazeera that it was “wise” to use corrective measures “to win more time, to better understand the Omicron”.

Jin, however, said there was no need to panic, pointing to a shorter window and lower mortality rates in the United States and Europe.

Although Chinese methods have been known to reduce mortality, Jin doubted their importance to public health as the virus spreads.

“For them, it’s a matter of respecting the country and they believe they have the best practices in the world,” he said. “If we can tackle the epidemic in Wuhan, we can do the same elsewhere.”

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Beijing should also be concerned about the effectiveness of its vaccine against this new species, as results from the lab have shown that Sinovac does not produce enough antibodies to protect Omicron. This suggests the possibility that the number of cases could increase dramatically in public health, even though vaccines are at high risk.

“But as the world continues, China is still in its infancy,” Jin said.

“My advice would be to gradually change and realize the global reality of COVID-19,” he said. “He needs to stop the process slowly.”

Unlike Western countries, where protests against the closure and vaccination demand are increasing, China has never faced a major epidemic threat.

Despite the low cost, the zero-COVID method seems to be gaining popularity, according to Christian Göbel, a professor of China Studies at the University of Vienna.

“I no longer think people are against the crisis because they see COVID seriously,” Göbel told Al Jazeera.

“There is a tradition that human rights can be given on a large scale to benefit all,” Lynette Ong, a political scientist at the University of Toronto, told Al Jazeera. “And the health crisis seems to be a valid excuse for human rights abuses.”

Chinese President Xi JinpingXi Jinping’s government has announced China’s victory in the fight against the virus [File: Andy Wong/AP]

China – which had 4,636 people killed by COVID-19 since Friday – has also shown its resilience to the epidemic as evidence of a rise in its control, making it less likely to change gears, Ong said.

Any change in the policy should be driven by fiscal consolidation, he said.

Indeed, economists have warned that inflation will increase, especially as the Chinese commodity market and domestic consumption declining.

“It is important to look ahead,” Chen Xingdong, a Chinese economist at BNP Paribas, said in a webinar earlier this month, the South China Morning Post said. “Something can not go on with everything that is being followed.”

“It seems that the government has recognized the value of zero-Covid points – it is very important and it is difficult to continue,” said Chen, referring to the closure that took place in Xian.

‘It is impossible to change course’

Earlier this month, US advisers to the Eurasia Group cited China’s zero tolerance targets as a major political threat in the coming year, citing pressures that will affect global markets and futures markets.

Significant closures to curb future spreads “will lead to greater economic instability, government intervention, and dissatisfaction with the number of people fighting for” China won the Covid “government radio mantra,” the adviser wrote in a report. published January 3.

“The initial success of zero Covid and the reliability of Xi make it impossible to change,” the report added.

In December, the World Bank reduced its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.1 percent by 2022, down from 5.4 percent. This will be the slowest growth since the 1990s with a sharp decline from 8.1 percent growth last year.

Many analysts believe the idea will remain in place until after the Congress, convened in late 2022, when President Xi Jinping is expected to find a third term that has never happened.

After all, the way forward is not clear.

“The success of China is that the virus continues to spread and after a year, or sooner, the mutations that surround it are much smaller and do not pose a threat to public health, especially with high vaccines,” Cowling said.

“And China can release its covid principles without having major outbursts or affecting public health.”

For Beijing, which has gone so far as to be able to control the virus, time or if it could happen it would not happen.

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