Devaluing China's zero-COVID approach disregards facts

2022-02-10 16:22:41Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

As the omicron strain still rages worldwide, lashing China's "dynamic zero-case policy" becomes the groupthink that is often hyped up by some Western media.

Some media outlets and individuals argue that China's strict measures will not stop the highly transmissible omicron but only lead to economic disruptions, and the country should shift to living with the virus and lifting restrictions.

The premise of devaluing China's zero-COVID approach is flawed in the first place, and China has every reason to chart its own path in the fight against the virus.

Chinese health officials have noted that the goal of the "dynamic zero-case policy" was to prevent domestic flare-ups through timely interventions rather than achieve zero infections, with a focus to strike a balance between disease control and ensuring people's normal everyday lives.

However, China's interpretation of its policies has fallen on deaf ears. Harboring deep insecurities about their own economic future, some Western countries, represented by the United States, are again accusing China groundlessly in an attempt to shift the blame from mistakes entirely of their own making.

Last December, some countries scrambled to impose border and travel curbs after omicron made its viral debut following delta, which actually makes them lose ground by accusing China of sticking to its cautious approach.

Some countries have downgraded the threat posed by the omicron strain. But a recent study published in China CDC Weekly shows that if population mobility had been restored to 2019 levels in countries and regions which take a similar COVID approach as China, more than 234 million infections would have been seen within a year, including 2 million deaths.

Meanwhile, vaccines and drugs are yet to work like miracles, not to mention that many countries have not approved vaccinating children under 12, especially toddlers under 5.

The already burdened health systems worldwide have been straining to survive delta and omicron, and health experts warned it is too early to let the guard down on the virus.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned that omicron should not be underestimated even though it looks to bring less severe illness than earlier strains, and it is premature for any country either to surrender or to declare victory.

Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, echoed that countries should chart their own paths in lifting the measures instead of following blindly what the other countries is doing. He said that "not every country is in the same situation."

The situation in China is that the "dynamic zero-case policy" has been implemented effectively, with wide support from the public. The country will not seek economic recovery at the cost of the health and lives of its people, and taking care of the elderly and the weak is a common understanding and deeply-rooted social responsibility shared by its government and the people.


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