NewsChina grapples with its worst outbreak in a year.

China grapples with its worst outbreak in a year.

-

[ad_1]

In the battle against the coronavirus, few places seemed as confident of victory as China.

The country of 1.4 billion people had eradicated the virus so quickly that it was one of the first in the world to open up in spring last year. People removed their masks and gathered for pool parties. The government has swiftly stamped out fresh outbreaks by mobilizing thousands of people to test and trace infections.

That model is now looking increasingly fragile.

China is facing its biggest challenge since the virus first erupted in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year: The Delta variant is spreading through the country. Chinese officials have acknowledged that this outbreak will be much harder to curb than the others, because this variant spreads so quickly, often without symptoms.

New cases in cities such as Nanjing, Wuhan, Yangzhou and Zhangjiajie are showcasing the limitations of China’s zero-tolerance approach. They may also undermine the ruling Communist Party’s argument that its authoritarian style has been an unquestionable success in the pandemic.

Although the government had to stamp out a Delta flare-up in June in Guangdong Province, the spread has been far wider this time, with 483 cases since July 21, more than the total for the first five months of the year. By Tuesday afternoon, the virus had spread to 15 of the 31 provinces and autonomous regions in China.

See also  China Sentences Canadian Businessman to 11 Years in Prison

“Once it reaches so many provinces, it’s very hard to mitigate,” said Chen Xi, an associate professor of public health at Yale. “I think this would be surprising and shocking to the rest of the world. Such a powerful government has been breached by Delta. This will be a very important lesson — we cannot let our guard down.”

See also  Australia’s worsening outbreak raises concerns about Aboriginal communities.

Last week, Sun Chunlan, a vice premier of China, blamed “ideological laxity” for the Delta outbreaks and urged officials to step up their prevention efforts. “We cannot relax for a moment,” Ms. Sun said.

Some public health experts in the country say it is time for China to rethink its Covid strategy. In a recent essay, Zhang Wenhong, who advises the Chinese government on dealing with Covid-19, floated the idea of following a model similar to that of Israel and Britain, in which vaccination rates are high and the authorities are willing to live with infections.

For now, China has stuck to its strict playbook. Across the country, the government has instructed people not to travel unless necessary. In the cities of Zhangjiajie and Zhuzhou, 5.4 million people have been barred from leaving their homes. Roughly 13 million residents in the city of Zhengzhou, the site of deadly floods in July, had to stand in line for virus testing starting last weekend.

In Nanjing, where the first recent Delta cases appeared, millions of residents have endured four rounds of testing.

“It’s just torturing the masses,” said Jiang Ruoling, a Nanjing resident. Ms. Jiang, who works in real estate, said she understood the need for testing, but was still critical of officials for failing to control the latest outbreak. “The leaders are actually wasting resources and everyone’s time,” she said.

See also  C.D.C. Internal Report Calls Delta Variant as Contagious as Chickenpox

Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, said China’s “containment-based” strategy would not work in the long run, particularly as new variants continue to emerge. “It will become extremely costly to sustain such an approach,” he said.

See also  Boston’s mayor draws sharp criticism for condemning so-called vaccine passports.

[ad_2]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

How to Be a Better Christian: 5 Important Tips

As a Christian, you believe in all the goodness that God has brought into your life, but it can...

How to Save Money With Your Family

Saving money is never easy, and saving money as a family can be even more difficult. If you’re interested...

Watch livescore football and become a professional in your favorite game

A new season in the Spanish championship has started. Now, you can follow all the competitions from the world...

Your Thursday Briefing

We’re covering the Taliban’s violent response to protesters and Israel’s Covid surge despite high vaccination rates.The Taliban met...

Garth Brooks cancels tour dates due to Delta variant

The country superstar on Wednesday said he's canceling the next five stops on his tour, the last of...

‘There’s So Much More to Afghanistan’: Khaled Hosseini Reflects on His Birthplace

These are stories. This is the perspective of someone who has lived in exile, essentially since 1980. Salman...

Must read

How to Be a Better Christian: 5 Important Tips

As a Christian, you believe in all the goodness...

How to Save Money With Your Family

Saving money is never easy, and saving money as...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you