When the coronavirus pandemic began nearly three years ago, China was the first country to shut down. First in Wuhan, then in the Hubei region, strict quarantine measures began. But now the rest of the world has drastically reduced its measures to combat the coronavirus. China has taken drastic action again and again. So much so that even the doors of the apartments are sealed so that people who do not comply with quarantine cannot go outside. Okay, but why?
In the first year of the pandemic, many countries began to look for an answer to the question “how can we live with the virus”, as they realized that the virus could not be stopped.
Until a Covid vaccine was developed, there were great restrictions on social life in most countries. However, this was just a practice to save time. Indeed, life returned to normal when immunity developed, that is, when a significant part of the population was vaccinated.
Unlike other countries, China chose to suppress the virus rather than develop immunity. He continued to take drastic measures as part of his zero Covid policy.
Last week, 10 people died in an apartment fire in Xinjiang. There is a general consensus that the building is closed due to Covid measures and that people cannot escape because of this.
In China, people whose quarantine measures have reached this level are forcibly tested for covid. Videos of people locked in their homes do not fall off the social media agenda. So why are such drastic measures being taken?
Although China has developed its own vaccines, they are not as effective as those used in the rest of the world. For example, two doses of BioNTech’s vaccine provides 90% protection against severe disease and death, while Sinovac’s figure is 70%. This means that more people need to be vaccinated to benefit from the vaccine.
The biggest benefit of China’s zero covid policy is that it has reduced the death rate.
For example, if in England, with a population of 67 million people, 170,000 people died of covid, then in China, with a population of 1.4 billion people, 5,000 deaths were recorded. Although mortality rates are low, stopping the virus with quarantine measures prevents the formation of natural immunity. This makes China more vulnerable to the virus. So if China doesn’t go into strict lockdown when the virus reappears, it could experience the horrors of the first days of the pandemic.
Ending the zero Covid policy could result in 1.5 million deaths, according to estimates published in the medical journal Nature.
Because in such a situation, it is estimated that the number of people in need of inpatient care will be 15 times more than a hospital bed. At this point, a choice must be made between permanent closure or natural immunity. According to the World Health Organization, China’s policy is not sustainable. New Zealand and Australia maintained strict quarantine policies in the early months of the pandemic. However, normal life was restored after vaccination. So what could China’s exit be like now?
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