China Omicron: Beijing says ‘no need for big action’
Despite two confirmed cases of severe mutation in Hong Kong, Chinese public health experts still express confidence in the country’s existing border control measures.
Zhang Wenhong, an infectious disease expert in Shanghai and arguably China’s most trusted voice on Covid-19, said the new variant would “not have a major impact on China at this point”. .”
“China’s current dynamic clearance and rapid response strategy is capable of dealing with all kinds of novel coronavirus variants,” Zhang wrote in a social media post on Sunday.
And at a conference in Guangzhou over the weekend, Zhong Nanshan, a leading respiratory disease expert and government adviser, said China had no plans to take any “major action” to deal with Omicron variation.
Meanwhile, in China’s state media, the prevailing mood is one clear example. As much of the world begins to reopen and learn to live with Covid, China has risen to the top and is increasingly isolated by comparison. That isolation is now being hailed as China’s only advantage in the fight against the new variant.
“The major Western countries have severed their air links with countries like South Africa, showing that these countries are scared. The establishment of an immune shield based solely on vaccines has really been done. proved to be a risky path and could even be said to have failed,” the Global Times, a state-run nationalist tabloid, said in an editorial today. Sunday.
China’s dynamic case-free route has been criticized by the West in many ways, the editorial said. However, if the Omicron variant kicks off a new wave of attacks, China itself will be able to best stop his invasion”. declared China “a true impregnable bastion against the spread of the virus in today’s world.”
However, the growing concern globally and the series of travel bans caused by the Omicron variant will most likely lend public support in the country for the Chinese government to maintain its no-nonsense approach. tolerate Covid as long as it sees fit.
The ruling Communist Party has tied the zero-Covid policy to its political legitimacy, seeing it as proof of the supposed superiority of the one-party system over Western democracies, especially the USA. But this strategy is also driven by pure necessity, because China simply cannot open its doors without a vaccine or more effective treatment.
In a report published by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the journal China CDC Weekly, mathematicians assessed the potential outcomes if China adopted similar pandemic control tactics. similar to countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Spain, France and Israel.
According to the study, if China adopted the US pandemic strategy, its daily number of new cases would reach at least 637,155.
“Our findings provide a stark warning that, at this time, we are not ready to adopt ‘open door’ strategies based solely on the herd immunity hypothesis. vaccination supported by some Western countries.”
It concluded, “there is a need for more effective vaccination or more specific treatment, preferably a combination of the two, before entry-exit quarantine measures and other Covid-19 response strategies in China.” can be safely removed.”
While acknowledging that there are “some differing opinions” on the approach in the community, Wu stressed that zero-tolerance containment and border restrictions are absolutely necessary in the coming months. .