After more than two years, COVID still refuses to disappear. Faced with a wave of omicron in China, the Chinese government is putting the lives of the people first and sticking to its dynamic zero-Covid strategy. This strategy is not intended to achieve zero infection, but to quickly detect infection and break the chain of societal transmission. The goal is to bring the spread of infection under control in the shortest possible time with the lowest social and economic costs.
Among China’s population of over 1.4 billion, more than 200 million are over 60 years and 100 million over 70 years. According to some experts, if China drops its dynamic zero-COVID policy, the spread of the virus will be out of control and a large number of people will be infected in a short time. With several acute cases, the hospitals will be overwhelmed. It is the elderly, children, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups who will bear the burden. In that scenario, there could be hundreds of millions of infections and millions of deaths. We must not let this happen.
So the importance of sticking to the current prevention and control measures is clear. And they have proven to be effective. New estimates from the World Health Organization show that the excess mortality rate with the COVID-19 pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million. China’s infection rate and mortality rate remain the lowest in the world. According to an analysis published by The Lancet in March, while the excess mortality rate was estimated at 120 deaths per year. 100,000 inhabitants globally, it was only 0.6 for China.
Meanwhile, the dynamic zero-Covid policy has also supported the healthy momentum in China’s economic and social development. The strong resilience, the enormous potential and the fundamental factors that support China’s long-term economic growth remain unchanged. In the first quarter of this year, China’s GDP grew by 4.8 percent year-on-year, placing itself at the forefront of the world’s largest economies and remaining a primary driver of global growth. From January to April, the total volume of imports and exports grew by 11.2 percent and paid-in foreign investment by 20.5 percent year-on-year, which served as a clear indication that China continued to open wider to the world . International institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank all expressed that China has ample political space to boost the economy and that the future offers even greater prospects.
Some specific prevention and control measures affected people’s livelihoods and had a short-term impact on social and economic activities. So we have been constantly fine-tuning our response measures to keep up with the evolving situation. But only when the pandemic is completely brought under control can life and work return to normal. By adopting the dynamic zero-COVID policy to avoid a catastrophic situation, we will also effectively prevent transmission to other countries and protect the security of the global industrial and supply chain.
At present, COVID-19 is still a serious global pandemic and there is considerable uncertainty about its future development. Greater efforts are needed to defeat the pandemic. All countries should support each other, better coordinate action measures and improve global public health governance. In this diversified world, where countries differ greatly, there is no uniform model for pandemic control policies. The best policy is always the one that suits the specific situation of a country. The Chinese government will stick to its dynamic zero-COVID strategy, and I have full confidence that China will win the battle against the pandemic and make a greater contribution to global efforts for a safer world.
Source: The Nordic Page