Covid-19: the city of Changchun and its 9 million inhabitants under glass

Screening in Changchun, northeast China, March 11, 2022. AFP - STR

Text by: Stéphane Lagarde Follow

2 mins

After Hong Kong, mainland China faces the Omicron rebound.

Health authorities report 1,100 new cases of contamination for the day yesterday, including 703 asymptomatic.

And tonight Friday, the 9 million inhabitants of Changchun, in the northeast of the country, are under glass.

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From our correspondent in Beijing

,

Transport suspended, non-essential businesses closed, and of course massive tests to track contact cases.

The “zero Covid” trinity is once again in place in Changchun, where two new local transmissions have been reported.

The concern comes from Jilin, the neighboring megalopolis where 93 cases have been reported.

Infections have been reported in particular at the University of Agricultural Science and Technology.

Cries and containment  

Anger of parents.

“ 

Why did they take so long,

yells this mother on the WeChat app

.

Why did we take our children? 

“A student, who posted a video on the Weibo network, finds on the other hand that “ 

the university has prepared everything well

 ”.

Three hundred buses would have been made available.

The more than 6,500 students are said to have been taken to quarantine at the hotel, like the teachers.

Drastic measures to try to block the virus.

Because with Omicron, even stealth, it's all or nothing.

And positive cases have already been reported in 17 provinces.

In Shanghai in particular, where lessons in primary and secondary schools will now be given online.  

Dynamic zero covid  

While for several weeks now, some Chinese epidemiologists have been wondering about the exit from

the so-called “zero Covid-19 dynamic” strategy

.

Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese CDC, published a long article at the end of February last considered as a call to reconsider the policy of absolute no-tolerance with the virus.

Thread: Underreported but potentially huge news on #China's anti-Covid measures: Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of China's CDC, released a lengthy post Monday that is largely seen as a strong hint that China is reconsidering its #ZeroCovid policy.

Here's what he said.

— Yang Liu (@yangliuxh) February 28, 2022

An exit that could be made when China has developed its own mRNA vaccines.

This is also what Li Keqiang seemed to say on Friday March 11, 

when the question was put to him at a press conference at the end of the legislative session in Beijing

.

The virus continues to evolve and we still have a lot to learn from it 

," the Chinese premier said.

In particular, we must strengthen research on vaccines and treatments for the disease

 ,” he continued, before calling on the international community to redouble their efforts so that “ 

the world can return to normal

 ”.

►Also listen [PODCAST]:

Beijing Olympics, does the Chinese zero Covid strategy spoil the Olympic party?

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