Coronavirus Update: China needs at least a year to end zero-COVID policy, experts say

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Stock Market

A renewed push by China to vaccinate elderly people has sparked hopes for an end to the country’s strict zero-COVID policy, but the world’s second-biggest economy is facing challenges and at least a year of hard work before the policy can end, the Associated Press reported.  A vaccination campaign will require months, and China also needs to build up its hospital capacity and work out a long-term virus strategy, health experts and economists warn. They say the zero-COVID policy is likely to stay in place until mid-2023, and possibly as late as 2024.

“China is in no place right now to move away from its ‘zero-COVID’ policy toward a ‘living with COVID’ policy,” said Mark Williams, chief Asia economist for Capital Economics. “Healthcare capacity is very weak.” The Chinese policy has come into renewed focus this week after a weekend of protests in cities including Shanghai and Beijing over lockdowns that have kept many people in their homes for months. See also: China protests are biggest threat to Communist Party rule since Tiananmen Square, Kyle Bass says People say they don’t have reliable access to food and medicine, and there was an outcry after two children who were in quarantine died after their parents said anti-virus controls prevented them from receiving medical care. A fire in the northwestern city of Urumqi that killed at least 10 people became another flashpoint last Friday after residents claimed that people trying to escape were blocked by locked doors.

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