As the West Eases Covid Restrictions, China Pursues “Zero-Case” Policy

By John Friend

While most of the Western world is easing and discontinuing many of the most restrictive public health measures stringently put in place to combat the purported Covid-19 pandemic, China is aggressively pursuing a “zero-case” policy, which has resulted in total lockdowns, mandatory health screenings and testing, face masks, forced quarantines and other tyrannical measures.

The increasingly invasive and disruptive policies implemented by the Chinese state have resulted in major public backlash, as Chinese citizens publicly protest many of the measures and voice their frustration. Just yesterday, Chinese authorities extended a lockdown to cover the entire city of Shanghai, a financial hub and home to roughly 26 million people.

The strict measures have resulted in major disruptions to businesses and the daily lives of millions of citizens, as well as food shortages and difficulty accessing medical care. Many have complained of extremely overcrowded and unsanitary quarantine facilities, which individuals are forced to isolate in under certain circumstances.

Incredibly, the harsh lockdown has been justified by Chinese officials despite only 268 symptomatic cases being reported on Monday in Shanghai, according to Reuters. Since the lockdown began, there have been 13,000 asymptomatic cases reported, a situation where an individual tests positive for the virus but shows no symptoms.

The strict lockdown includes forced quarantine measures, mandatory testing and screenings and forced isolation, including children being separated from their parents, which has outraged local residents in recent days. Public health officials in Shanghai recently granted some minor concessions following the public backlash against the child separation policy.

Health officials are reported to have said that “guardians of children with special requirements who are infected with COVID could now apply to escort them, but would need to comply with certain rules and sign a letter saying they were aware of the risks,” Reuters reported.

Chinese officials have vowed to adhere to their strict “zero-case” policy and have insisted that vaccination is the best way to protect against Covid-19.

“The recent outbreaks exactly prove that measures centered on strict quarantine, control, lockdowns and screening are still effective, scientific and necessary to contain the spread of the Omicron strain,” Lei Zhenglong of the National Health Commission stated, seemingly out of touch with the sentiments of the local population. “The dynamic zero-case policy can be achieved.”

Those who refuse to adhere to the strict measures imposed by Chinese authorities can be detained and fined. Videos have emerged of public health authorities abusing insufficiently compliant Chinese citizens, raising alarms among Covid skeptics and civil rights advocates.

Meanwhile, protests continue to break out as citizens become increasingly fed up with the tyrannical and inhumane “zero-case” policies implemented by China.