China faces major battle against Omicron


As new Covid-19 cases continue to rebound in several countries, China is facing mounting pressure to guard against imported infections amidst a recent surge in cases throughout the country.

“On the whole, the local epidemic situation in China is still in the development stage, and many provinces and regions are fighting against the Omicron epidemic in multiple cities at the same time,” a Chinese official was quoted as saying by State media outlet Global Times. The official added that China’s epidemic prevention and control situation “remains grim and complex.” “Epidemic prevention and control is a priority for the country,” Mi Feng, a spokesperson from the National Health Commission (NHC), said.

Further, Mi urged that the public and the relevant departments to resist a ‘relax, rest, wait and see,’ attitude and not show fatigue in the face of the epidemic battle, no fluking, slacking, noting persistence is victory. Since the beginning of this year, the epidemic situation in China’s neighbouring countries and regions has been increasingly volatile. Since March this year, the average number of daily imported cases in China has exceeded 200.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that Beijing will stick to its ‘zero Covid-19’ policy, days after National Health Commission (NHC) released new guidelines easing its control measures.

During a meeting with top leaders last week, Xi said China should “continue to put people and life at the forefront, stick with scientific accuracy and dynamic-zero, and curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible”, The Strait Times reported citing state broadcaster CCTV.

On late Tuesday night, the NHC had uploaded a new document on its website. Titled the Novel Coronavirus Diagnosis And Treatment Plan, it was the ninth revision to a document setting out 

Covid-19 policy for the country of 1.4 billion.

China’s zero-COVID policy is pushing cash

-strapped local governments to the brink amid rising health care costs and efforts to control debt.

Analysts said that the local governments in China are facing a growing financial burden to meet Beijing’s hardline zero-Covid strategy, according to a think tank, Policy Research Group (POREG).

China is battling its biggest virus surge in two years and numerous cities have imposed travel bans and lockdowns, including tech hub Shenzhen, which have shaken economic stability and global supply chains.

China has clung to a zero-tolerance approach to the virus that relies on stringent lockdowns, mass testing and quarantine in government facilities.