Covid China experienced a dramatic increase in cases after the decision to cease massive screening and quarantines in December, with certain hospitals and crematoriums becoming overcrowded with casualties.
China launched a vehement defense of the steps taken to get ready for the shift in tactic on Thursday, accusing certain Western media of bias, slander, and political maneuvering in their coverage of China’s unexpected abandonment of its stringent zero-COVID policy.
A dramatic increase in instances followed the decision to cease mass screening and quarantines in December, with certain hospitals and crematoriums becoming overcrowded with casualties.
People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, published an editorial in which it highlighted China’s optimization and control methods and denounced news from sources they did not name as totally biased hype, smear, and political maneuvering with ulterior purposes.
Life has mostly gotten back to normal in most of China after the first wave of new cases, but authorities have voiced concern about the virus spreading farther into the countryside during the current Lunar New Year travel surge.
Notwithstanding, many communities have past the peak of the pandemic, and production and life are speeding up to return to normal, according to the editorial.
The Zero-COVID method intended to locate and isolate every infection case, as well as everyone who came into touch with them and even third-party contacts. It kept millions of residents in big cities like Shanghai inside their homes for at least two months, many of whom experienced food shortages and had limited access to medical care.
The strategy was vehemently supported by China, but it started to be abandoned as a result of economic pressure and after unprecedented street protests against the governing party and its leader, Xi Jinping, took place in Beijing and other major cities. On January 8, it went a step further and stopped requiring those traveling from overseas to go through time-consuming and costly quarantines.
China rebuffed condemnation of the policy’s excesses both from domestic and international quarters, branding earlier requests from the World Health Organization for it to adapt to shifts in the virus’s biology as irresponsible.
That makes the sudden move to a strategy of only attempting to avoid the most serious incidents in the middle of winter, when many people had resisted online censorship to voice their rage, a lot more startling for the populace. Screening facilities where enormous queues of people had formed vanished practically immediately, and field hospitals where millions had been quarantined just disbanded.
The WHO and other countries continued to protest about China’s lack of openness after it stopped sharing data on new cases and fatalities, which it was long suspected of underreporting. According to unconfirmed estimates, there are now tens of thousands of new cases reported each day, and up to 85% of the population in some areas has contracted the disease.
Additionally, China has rejected efforts to give more data and information regarding the virus’s origins, which were first discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. China accused individuals who made the requests of politicizing the situation.
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