The Resurgence of COVID-19 in China

By IndraStra Global News Team

Cover Image Attribute: This photo shows a person undergoing a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 in Shenyang, in China's northeastern Liaoning province, on March 14, 2022.GETTY
Cover Image Attribute: This photo shows a person undergoing a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 in Shenyang, in China's northeastern Liaoning province, on March 14, 2022./Source: GETTY

According to various media reports, the COVID-19 pandemic has resurfaced after a brief respite, with both China and Europe reporting an increase in cases. 

China recorded 5,280 new cases on March 16, 2022, a more than twofold increase from the previous day. BA.2, a stealth version of omicron, has been implicated in the increase in infections. The northeastern province of Jilin has registered almost 3,000 new cases, making it the epicenter of the new outbreak. 

This second wave is now being labeled as a worse outbreak than the one that sparked the pandemic in late 2019 in Wuhan. China's streets are reminiscent of the early days of the epidemic when grocery stores were deserted as a result of stockpiling and streets were unusually silent.

As a precaution, the Chinese government has placed nearly 30 million individuals under lockdown. Mass testing, airline cancellations, and stringent restrictions have been enacted in at least 13 cities.

Chinese public health officials have recently stated that they are looking into measures to gradually ease their zero-tolerance policy. The newest warning emerged Monday in an essay by Dr. Zhang Wenhong —  an infectious disease specialist on Shanghai's COVID-19 response team and dubbed China's "Dr. Fauci" after US government expert Anthony Fauci.

China's business news outlet Caixin Global published an article by Zhang in which he stated that the public has to be aware that the virus is getting less lethal if people are vaccinated and their health has not already been compromised. “Dispelling the terror toward it is a step we must take,” Zhang wrote. He further added, “We should carve a very clear path and not spend all our time debating whether we should continue zero COVID or coexist (with the virus).”

For the time being, the government is adhering to its mitigation plans which consist of lockdowns, repeated mass testing of millions of individuals, and a two-week or longer quarantine period for international arrivals.

The change will come, but it will be gradual and cautious. The country's success in protecting people from COVID-19 means many don't have antibodies from earlier infections. Aside from that, China uses domestically-made vaccines (such as Sinovac) that are less effective than Pfizer's and other widely used vaccines.

It is quite clear, China is “not confident” enough to lift the zero-COVID policy since their vaccines are less effective, according to a Chinese public health official speaking to the Associated Press who declined to be named for fear of retribution. He noted that authorities are monitoring Hong Kong as a case study to learn from its mistakes. 

However, the country can coexist with the virus, public health experts argue, as long as the elderly and those with pre-existing diseases are protected.

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IndraStra Global: The Resurgence of COVID-19 in China
The Resurgence of COVID-19 in China
By IndraStra Global News Team
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