This year’s May Day may not have been so fun for Beijing residents. The country’s ultra-strict so-called ‘zero-Covid’ policies mean buildings and housing complexes with Covid-19 cases are on lockdown. In Beijing, parks and tourist attractions are only allowing 50% of their normal capacity. All restaurants in the capital city are only serving customers take-out, with no dine-in services, from Sunday to Wednesday.
Visitors to many office buildings and attractions like the Great Wall must show proof of a negative Covid test taken in the previous 48 hours. The city’s Universal Studios theme park said it had to be shut down temporarily. The transport ministry said last week, that in China overall, 100 million trips are expected to be taken from Saturday to Wednesday, 60% fewer than last year.
Beijing started imposing lockdowns last week even though only 70 cases had been reported since April 20, out of the city’s population of over 21 million people. Beijing residents are now working from home, while stocking up on food and other supplies, fearful of being confined to their homes, as has happened in other cities, including China’s largest city, Shanghai.
China’s zero-Covid policy is among the strictest Covid-19 policies in the world, and many virologists have criticised since last year. According to a Bloomberg report, a virologist from the University of Hong Kong says the government’s attempts to quash the virus through mass testing and harsh quarantines are “doomed to fail”.
As China ramped up its vaccinations, the virologist argued that the government must examine how effective its really vaccines are. While Sinopharm and Sinovac may have previously worked to prevent serious illness and death, the virologist says it was time to admit they were less effective against the Delta variant compared to Western mRNA vaccines. The virologist, Guan Yi , said…
“One can tell what’s good or bad through comparison. If we fail to recognize our shortcomings, we lack the incentive to make progress.”
SOURCE: Associated Press