lørdag 1. januar 2022

How much longer can China keep up its zero-Covid strategy?

Desperate residents in China’s western Xi’an city are running out of food after they were barred from grocery shopping in a fiercelockdown. In the southern province of Guangxi, people who broke Covid laws were recently publicly shamed by beingparaded through the streets in Hazmat suits with placards round their necks.

The rest of the world is learning, slowly and with some difficulty, to live with Covid-19, but in China, authorities are doubling down on their “zero-Covid” policy: trying to stamp out the disease whenever it appears, and at any cost. A single case in a border town led to 200,000 people being locked down late last month.

A key aspect of the policy is border closures. Few people are allowed in or out of China, and those who do enter the country face up three weeks of government-enforced quarantine. Some other countries locked the world out for over a year in a bid to lock out the pandemic. But in 2022, Beijing is treading an increasingly solitary path.