China Aiming for COVID Policies Less Disruptive
Authorities in China are trying to calm public anger over the death of a 3-year-old child who died after being held in an anti-virus quarantine home.
A 10-year-old boy died in the southwestern Chinese city of Lanzhou on Friday after inhaling toxic fumes from a faulty gas heater, state media said.
His father accused health workers who were enforcing the closure of the compound of refusing to help and tried to prevent him from rushing his son to the hospital.
The father’s post on social media prompted an angry backlash against the Communist Party’s “Zero Coronavirus” strategy that has confined families to cramped apartments for weeks at a time to combat the outbreak.
A quarantine system “protects life and health, not confronts those who need to be rescued with obstacles”, a post on the popular Sina Weibo social media service wrote.
The ruling party is sticking to “Zero COVID” at a time when other countries are easing their anti-virus controls.
So far, China’s coronavirus infections have been relatively low, but that has disrupted business and travel.
People living in the Xinjiang region of China have been forbidden to leave their homes since mid-August.
People in Urumqi and other cities who are running out of food and medicine were posting pleas for help on social media.
Fights with police and health workers have erupted in some parts of the country.
The death of the 9-year-old boy in the Chinese capital came after many similar incidents during the New Year’s celebrations.
He was taken to hospital but died there.
The Lanzhou city government expressed “deep sorrow and regret” for the boy’s death.
The father said he asked health workers at the compound gate for help and they asked him to ask someone else and showed him a negative virus test.
The mother says she wound up taking her son to the hospital, where doctors failed to revive him.
“Lanzhou city government expressed deep regret and blamed weak emergency response on the accident that occurred on Monday night.
Zhang Weiwen is the mayor of Lanzhou city in northwest China’s Gansu Province.
The government has promised to learn from the painful lessons of this accident.
China is keeping a close eye on the economy to ensure that the economy doesn’t weaken.
A leading newspaper tried to put to rest any hope for a quick easing of COVID-19 by saying “Zero COVID” was working and quoting health experts who said it would have to stay in place
The stocks of Chinese companies rose in Hong Kong on Tuesday after a rumor circulated on social media that a “reopening committee” might be created to look at easing restrictions.
Prices fell after the rumor didn’t pan out.
Share prices in Hong Kong jumped after the government of China’s special administrative region said that it would make anti-virus measures cheaper and a city with the world’s biggest iPhone factory promised to ease restrictions.
There is a good chance that COVID will remain in place through most of 2023. This is because of the need to vaccinate millions of elderly people before the government can consider relaxing the quarantine requirement for arrivals from other countries.
China has suspended access to the largest industrial park in the central city of Zhengzhou that houses the factories assembling Apple Inc.’s iPhones amid fears of the spread of the deadly new coronavirus.
The National Health Commission said this week that China needs to control outbreaks “with the minimum scale affected and the shortest time and lowest cost possible,” according to a Global Times report published by the ruling party newspaper People’s Daily.
“That is a great sign for the market,” the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The central government ordered the local governments of China’s southeastern coast to close off a southern region as the Wenzhou virus swept through last week, killing dozens of people.
Authorities in Zhengzhou are focused on “ending the epidemic” and “restoring order to production and life,” says the city government’s deputy secretary-general, Li Huifang.