WHO chief’s remarks on China’s zero Covid policy censored by Beijing
Beijing, May 11 (EFE).- Remarks by the director general of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus describing China’s ‘zero Covid’ strategy as unsustainable were censored in the Asian country Wednesday.
“When we talk about the zero Covid strategy, we don’t think that it’s sustainable considering the behavior of the virus now and what we anticipate in the future,” he told a press conference on Tuesday.
“We have discussed this issue with Chinese experts and we indicated that the approach will not be sustainable and considering the behavior of the virus, I think a shift will be very important,” he added.
Chinese censors removed video clips of the comments after they were widely shared on homegrown social media networks such as Weibo — China’s answer to Twitter — and Wechat.
China retains some of the strictest Covid-19 measures anywhere in the world. Its most-populous city Shanghai, home to 26 million people, has been under a state of lockdown for over a month despite growing frustration voiced by residents on social media.
Chinese president Xi Jinping last week urged officials to double down on the country’s ‘zero Covid’ policy.
A forecast model developed by the Shanghai-based Fudan University in collaboration with United States researchers has suggested that lifting Beijing’s strict zero tolerance policy would result in 1.5 million deaths and 112 million cases, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.
Chinese officials on Wednesday reported seven Covid-related deaths and 324 new cases in the previous 24 hours.EFE