China has abandoned zero Covid. what happened now?


China is rapidly opening up after years of a ‘zero Covid’ policy with strict lockdowns, mandatory testing and major travel restrictions. But major policy changes could create further complications for China as people resume international travel and a geopolitical patchwork of countries imposes restrictions on Chinese air travelers. I have.

USA, UK, Italy, India, Israel, Spain, Canada, South Korea and France have all implemented some form of restriction on air travel from China. This usually means that passengers boarding in China and destined for one of these countries must pass a negative test before boarding. For Spain, not vaccinatedBut policy around infectious diseases is difficult to make without accurate data on cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Late December.

It is too early to tell exactly what impact policy shifts will have China appears to be experiencing a large wave of infections now, but has not yet reached a large number of infections abroad. However, Chinese air travelers have experienced waves of multiple subspecies not, and may be more vulnerable to infection.

Additionally, there is not enough scientific evidence to support travel restrictions. Saskia Popescu, assistant professor in the biodefense program within George Mason’s Shah School of Policy and Government, said, “In this pandemic, no country, no country, no patchwork response will contain the disease. I’ve seen time and time again that very little can be done,” he said. The university told his Vox via email. “Furthermore, travel bans and testing requirements are less effective because they ignore the porous nature of borders, the realities of disease transmission, and are reactive rather than preventive.”

China is backing out of Xi Jinping’s zero Covid policy, cases are on the rise

Chinese President Xi Jinping rollback restrictions to his signature policy rear widespread protest Opposition to strict lockdowns and mandatory testing began in November. The Xi Jinping administration had Announced 20-point plan to mitigate These restrictions, which took place earlier in the month, led to protests, some of which called for Xi’s resignation, likely hastened the clarification of his policies.

Strict lockdowns, especially in Shanghai, the FoxConn iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, and Urumqi in Xinjiang, reportedly left people without access to food. And many in Xinjiang say the zero Covid measures thereWhen an apartment complex in Urumqi caught fire, people were barred from leaving their apartments.

A month later, a series of policies Xi once said:Prioritized people and their lives above all else” collapsed rapidly, resulting in a large increase in the number of cases, strained healthcare system.

“I think we should worry about what’s going on in China, for the Chinese people,” said Andrew Pollard, chairman of the British Joint Commission on Immunization and Immunization. BBC Newshour Saturday. “In the country right now there is a huge amount of Covid spreading and there are Omicron subspecies out there that are spreading very well among the people and because they have never experienced a wave of Covid before , it is expected that a huge number of infections will occur.”

Officially, China has recorded 5,000+ dead Pollard has acknowledged that he may have contracted Covid-19 since the pandemic began, but if that number only counted those who died from the disease without other underlying conditions, it I admit it is possible. But if those cases are included, the number is likely to be much higher and likely to increase as the disease spreads, especially among older people who are less likely to be vaccinated.

Already, reports from China indicate that hospital systems are being threatened by the rising number of Covid-19 cases. Crematory and Funeral Home Underneath the death toll is tense.

As Victor Shi, an expert on Chinese politics at the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, said, the zero Covid shutdown was. New Yorker’s Isaac Chotiner could be a complex decision motivated by domestic economic and employment problems, as well as general dissatisfaction and outcry. But Xi Jinping will have to contend with the repercussions of his decision – the draconian lockdown he has adopted and touted for three years and a possible wave of Covid-19 infections and deaths following China’s reopening. According to Shih, the impact is likely to mean more protests like those seen in November, which could lead to increased skepticism about China’s economic and governance model from inside and outside China. It is said to be very high quality.

“There is a serious damage to public confidence,” said John Delry, a China expert at Yonsei University in Seoul. told the Financial Times“The impact may not be seen immediately. But it is entering the public reckoning of how capable their government is. It’s a bad start.”

The world is well prepared to deal with Covid-19, but there are still many unknowns

The end of covid-Zero also means the end of disease surveillance at the national Yang Zhang, Professor of Sociology and Chinese Politics at American University Tweeted in December about tracking Covid-19 cases in China“I don’t think the Chinese state had the ability to collect, model, and evaluate provincial/municipal infection data on a daily basis. [sic] Over the past month. After a sudden opening, this is a tough job (in any state). they simply gave up. “

Without sufficient information on vaccine efficacy, infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, it is difficult to model how the disease spreads and to formulate prudent policies for disease mitigation.

“We are flying blind with no further information, but with the CDC changing thresholds for community infection levels, testing centers shutting down, and home testing not being reported, this is also a problem facing the United States. ”

As at the beginning of the pandemic, countries disagree about how to deal with potentially newly infected patients in air travel. Three years later, Popescu said countries imposing restrictions were not always choosing effective restrictions. “flat [in the beginning of the pandemic] Travel bans have no scientific backing and frankly have proven to be control does not workThe best travel restrictions to deal with a disease of this magnitude are to buy governments time to prepare for an outbreak.

Italyhas implemented testing restrictions for air travelers from China and is encouraging other EU countries to do the same. France and Spain We are also restricting But the EU as a whole has so far refused to do soIn places like Europe, where overland travel between countries is almost painless, “testing passengers from one country is not effective in containing disease (horses are essentially out of barns”). ),” said Popescu.Further, she said, “testing is passive”, not proactive, she said – Italy implemented its testing obligations After the case was detected on a flight arriving in Milan December 26th.

One positive sign from Italy’s testing program is that it does not appear to have any new strains coming in from China. That means, as far as researchers can tell, Covid-infected travelers from China, for example, do not pose a significant risk to the United States, a larger population than American citizens infected with Covid-19.

Despite approximately 91% of the population being fully vaccinated, Chinese travelers may be exposed to unfamiliar variants during their travels, or may be unvaccinated, thus at risk. is probably higher. According to the New York Times.

The world is better prepared than 2020 to manage Covid-19, but a patchwork of restrictions to accommodate China’s reopening leaves the world’s ability to deal with the pandemic in a cohesive and coherent manner deeply flawed Covid-19 could be epidemic for years to come. Incidents such as China’s reopening and the possibility of new disease variants and waves “should serve as a reminder of the importance of global health, vaccine equity and partnerships in proactive public health interventions.

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