The Chinese government’s ‘covid zero’ policy keeps China’s most populous city in home confinement
After two weeks of strict confinement, many Shanghainese begin to say ‘enough’. Social networks are timidly echoing the growing protests in the city of 26 million inhabitants, where the ‘zero covid’ policy promoted by Xi Jinpin It has made it impossible to even find food. The megacity has been divided into zones of containment, control and prevention of the viruswhose omicron variant triggered the alerts in the final stretch of winter and has activated a indefinite confinement.
In some cases, the tension is triggered by access to food, which can lead to scenes of supermarket looting, despite the fact that Beijing has sent a contingent of 38,000 officials 2,000 soldiers to the area.
Lockdowns kill! Starving Shanghai residents are looting the supermarkets and food prices are up by more than 100% in many countries. Coming to a town near you.. pic.twitter.com/lXhdfq62z4 – Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis (@DrLoupis) April 14, 2022
Many citizens, tired of strict control by the authorities, do not hesitate to confront health and security forces and jump over barriers to regain freedom of movement. In some cases, the rebellion becomes a melee fight to circumvent sanitary control measures.
Low vaccination rates
Controlling the pandemic in China is particularly difficult compared to Europe due to low vaccination rates. According to data from the National Health Commission, 56% of those over 60 years of age have all three doses, but the figure drops to 48% if we talk about those over 70, and reaches 20% in octogenarians.
Beijing defends its strategy
Chinese authorities have defended their coronavirus response campaign after the United States branded it “arbitrary” and its citizens are recommended not to travel to China and part of its diplomats to leave the Asian giant. In this context, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lijan Zhaohas remarked that the measures applied by the Government “are based on science and work effectively” and has shown the confidence of the authorities to deal with the new outbreak of infections in Shanghai. “We are fully confident in controlling the new wave of COVID-19 in Shanghai and elsewhere. Many foreign nationals, including US citizens, are joining Shanghai people in solidarity to fight the virus and overcome current difficulties,” he said. Zhao, according to ‘The Paper’. However, Zhao has acknowledged that the ‘COVID zero’ strategy has “costs” but that “compared to the safety and life of the population, it is worth paying this price.”