China recommits to zero-tolerance Covid19 approach
Chinese officials renewed their commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to Covid19 even as they battle what is becoming the biggest and most protracted outbreak since the virus emerged in Wuhan two years ago.
China’s local coronavirus cases rose for a fourth day, with the majority of infections reported by Xian, a northwestern city that has put its 13 million people under lockdown. Since last week, Xian residents have not been allowed to leave the city without clearance from their employer or community authorities. Officials have also banned non-essential vehicles.
The scientist who warned the world about the Omicron Covid19 variant has told China its ‘Zero Covid’ police most likely won’t work against the super-transmissible mutant strain.
What happens next depends on the level of protection given by China’s vaccines against omicron. While the mRNA vaccines used in the West haven’t been as effective against omicron transmission compared with earlier variants, they continue to provide strong protection against hospitalisation and death especially with a booster shot.