China and Hong Kong are seeing their largest spike in Covid cases in more than two years, despite determinedly pursuing one of the world's strictest virus elimination policies. Most countries are now trying to live with coronavirus - so how long can China hold on to its "zero-Covid" goal? For the last two years, China's strict measures to contain Covid, enforced by swift lockdowns and aggressive restrictions, seemed to be largely paying off.
As the rest of the world grappled with surges in cases and deaths in 2020, China's President Xi Jinping declared the country's handling of the pandemic through lockdowns and widespread testing a success - and touted its methods as being the most effective in dealing with the virus. The zero-Covid model was therefore strictly enforced both in mainland China and Hong Kong.