They insist on the option Covid zero in China. The Chinese are for the eradication of the virus through systematic and very rigid lockdowns that involve sacrifices but also the death of economic activities. The level of discontent is rising, however. There are significant logistical problems: entire territories where supplies of food and other products do not reach. In Shanghai, where there are 25 million Chinese in lockdown, people are taking to the streets to protest, and to look for food. In a report broadcast by CNN, the correspondent explains that there are protests and extreme situations such as cancer patients who would need to go to the hospital to undergo chemotherapy and who, on the other hand, cannot leave the house.
Shanghai’s 25 million people under lockdown indefinitely. Chinese social media shows some breaking out of lockdown to protest, chanting: “we want freedom”; “why are you starving us?”
Much of the dissent is censored. Most of videos in our story were erased from the internet @cnn pic.twitter.com/QUHrfqEhiG
– Selina Wang (@selinawangtv) April 6, 2022
Social media showed scenes of positive children separated from their parents. The news caused a lot of hype that Shanghai authorities were forced to change the rules to allow a small number of swab-negative parents to live with their children in a quarantine hospital. There are also scenes of elderly people walking in the courtyard below the house and being scolded by public officials in anti-contamination overalls.
How many infections are there in China? Yesterday, Shanghai alone reported 1,015 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 22,609 asymptomatic, all locally transmitted. At the moment, mass sweeps are underway throughout the city. In Lazio alone, to say, yesterday there were 6,849 new positives.
Yet China does not want to be caught unprepared. Shanghai has built over 100 emergency hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 with more than 160,000 beds. The municipal government made it known today at a press conference. There are also eight designated hospitals with over 8,000 beds in the Chinese megacity, and more will come into operation over the weekend.
The United States does not recommend traveling to China. The recommendation came in the last few hours from the US State Department in relation to the new wave of infections from Covid-19 and the tough China policy to contain its spread. The invitation to compatriots is to “rethink travel to the People’s Republic of China due to the arbitrary application of local laws and restrictions relating to Covid-19”, “not to travel” to the province of Jilin, Shanghai and Hong Kong “to due to restrictions related to Covid-19, including the risk that parents and children may be separated“.
For the former British colony increasingly in the orbit of Beijing, “the arbitrary application of local regulations” is reported. Authorized “voluntary departure” for non-essential diplomatic staff in Shanghai and family members. The city is among the hardest hit from the new wave of infections, with the cities of Shenyang And Changchunin northeastern China.
The zero Covid policy
It is a choice, the Chinese one. The choice to fight a very insidious virus through policies that limit freedom and affect the public and private sphere of citizens. The drone that passes by turns among the Chinese skyscrapers, at night, divulges a very precise order to the residents: «Please respect the Covid restrictions. Check your soul’s desire for freedom. Don’t open the window and don’t sing. ‘ Even in China, going to the balcony to sing was an alternative way of creating community. And also to protest against the Covid zero regime chosen by the Chinese government.
In previous waves of Covid, the strategy of mass testing and positive case quarantines, along with partial closures and border restrictions, had been able to overcome the spread of the virus. Omicron and its subtypes have messed up this strategy. The Omicron variant evidently moves faster than the methods devised by China to control it.