China could evolve its “zero Covid” strategy in the face of soaring infections

Covid-19: Omicron detected in Beijing, millions of Chinese in quarantine © China Daily via REUTERS

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More than 1,500 new contaminations were reported this Saturday, March 12, as the surge in asymptomatic cases of the Omicron variant poses new challenges to the epidemic prevention system.

The application of the “zero Covid” strategy already varies according to the regions. 

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From our Beijing correspondent,

Stéphane Lagarde

It is a subtle measure, but noticed on social networks.

For the first time this weekend, antigen tests were made available to community health centers in Beijing.

These tests are currently reserved for symptomatic outpatients and people placed in solitary confinement.

But some see it as the start of a possible evolution of the “zero Covid” strategy, especially in first-tier cities which already benefit from more targeted measures.

A

strategy of non-tolerance with the

so- called " 

dynamic 

" virus compared to the

lockdown imposed yesterday Friday on the megalopolis of Changchun

, in northeastern China, but also, in recent months, on the cities of Lanzhou and Xi ' year in the west of the country.

► To read also: Covid-19 in China: the authorities confine Xi'an, a city of 13 million inhabitants

In Shanghai, while the surge in asymptomatic cases (78 of 83 new infections) raises fears of a citywide lockdown, the local government has, for now, denied and denounced the “

mistakes

” made by a hotel quarantine, accused of being at the origin of this epidemic rebound.

Online courses have been set up for primary schools in the Chinese economic capital.

Preschools and kindergartens are closed, some concerts have been postponed and Disney Park has reduced the number of its attractions.

A more targeted approach which could be called into question, or at least lose its effectiveness, if the surge in infections made it impossible to trace contact cases.

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  • China

  • Coronavirus

  • Health and medicine

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