Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that the country will stick to its “zero-Covid” strategy, state television reported, while the world’s most populous nation has been battling its biggest outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic.
The country that created the virus in late 2019 has largely kept its outbreaks under control thanks to a combination of strict border controls, long quarantines and targeted blockades, and has reported no more than a year of coronavirus-related deaths.
But the highly transmissible Omicron variant poses a tough challenge to this strategy, and authorities need to close cities including the southern Shenzhen technology center, which has a population of 17.5 million.
The world’s second-largest economy has gone from more than 100 infections a day just three weeks ago to more than 1,000 a day in more than a week.
More than 2,400 cases were reported on Thursday, according to the National Health Commission.
Speaking at a meeting of China’s top leaders, Xi said the country must “continue to put people and life at the forefront, maintain scientific accuracy and zero dynamics, and limit the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible,” according to the state. CCTV broadcaster.
Beijing needs to “raise the level of scientifically accurate prevention and control and continuously optimize disease control measures,” Xi said in a report.
CCTV said it has called for strengthening technological areas such as “key technologies such as vaccination, rapid testing and drug research” to make the limits of viruses more “targeted”.
Xi also called for stricter virus control at ports of entry and stressed the need to “quickly monitor local outbreaks.”
Tens of millions of people are currently under house arrest orders in China to try to eliminate the latest outbreak.
The communist leader in Beijing has turned the management of the pandemic into a political capital, saying that the low death rate shows the strength of his model of government.
Competing to suppress the appearances in several cities, Chinese officials have also moved to release hospital beds for fear that the virus could put a strain on the health care system.
Northeast China’s Jilin province, which has reported thousands of cases in the past week, has built eight “temporary hospitals” and two forty centers to stop the rise in infections.
State news outlets this week have released images of eleven giant cranes assembling Jilin’s temporary health facility, which has only about 23,000 hospital beds for a population of 24 million.
Authorities also said people with mild cases could be isolated in central quarantine facilities, as all previously asymptomatic patients were referred to specialist hospitals.
Recent spills have caused long queues outside the mass test sites and seen tight controls in ports, furthering fears of a trade disruption.
Authorities have shut down school campuses, shut down some residential compounds, and launched a stringent round of mass testing, according to state media.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a union feed.)