China eases Covid rules, but it’s too late: Martine Bulard (Le Monde Diplomacy)

Men In early December, President Xi Jinping lifted all restrictions on freedom of movement. In less than 48 hours, road checkpoints and barriers blocking neighborhoods and residential areas were removed. The PCR testing station has been dismantled. Thermometers at entrances to public spaces have been disabled. My essential trip tracking smartphone app has stopped working. But the streets of the big city remained strangely empty. The Chinese were afraid. they were self-isolating.

Only pharmacies and “fever clinics” (known as dedicated hospital facilities) were busy again. There were acute shortages of paracetamol (temporarily banned for fear that people would use it to lower fevers and trick thermometers) and some traditional Chinese herbs, and their prices skyrocketed. Things went back to normal, but distribution still wasn’t catching up.

A cold wave caused a flu and Omicron infection in Beijing, and the sudden absence of the organization affected everyone. After three years of draconian directives, a new slogan “everyone is responsible for their own health” has terrified the Chinese.

Does China have 1 million, 1.5 million, or even 2 million deaths? Chinese health officials have cited those figures to justify a stricter lockdown from last spring, but with only 20% of Hong Kongers over 60 in her, the current situation is by comparison. I don’t think so. He was vaccinated, compared with 68.9% of mainlanders. They especially want to reassure the public, because despite the changing lifestyle, respect for age is still strong in China. A high mortality rate among the elderly is politically dangerous for Mr. Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

On the surface, it’s hard to see why China’s exit from its zero-coronavirus policy has been so chaotic. However, the authorities face many problems. The first is low (…)

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Translated by George Miller.

https://mondediplo.com/2023/01/10china China eases Covid rules, but it’s too late: Martine Bulard (Le Monde Diplomacy)

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