Xi Jinping once said that Covid is an “evil virus” that only a “total people’s war” can defeat. Since then, China has been the only major economy. It remains isolated from the world since March 2020 and its borders are closed. As we have told Magnet in many of our articles, China has implemented a strict “Zero Covid” policy based on domestic quarantines, mass blockades and building closures. , as well as the creation of dystopian quarantine areas for the infected. For the government, virus control came first. Second, people’s life, well-being and dignity.
But after 11 days Protests on the streets of more than 20 citiesThe Chinese government gave up and ended its “Zero Covid” policy, or at least relaxed most of the measures. However, some of this radical change is due not to civic action but to the economic damage these policies inflict. And a huge gap in the wealth of the country that does not stop growing.
Goodbye to “Zero Covid”. New measures issued by the State Council include isolating mild or asymptomatic cases of coronavirus at home instead of in hospitals or central quarantine facilities. People will also not have to show a negative PCR test before entering public places (except in medical institutions, nurseries and schools). There are no longer any mass lockdowns: residential complexes can no longer be closed completely as before.
In addition, citizens should be allowed to unlimited purchase of drugs commonly used to treat symptoms of the disease, such as antigen tests and antipyretics. In short: China is doing exactly what we Europeans did two years ago.
Before it ruins the economy. The protests hastened the end of these policies, yes, but they were not the only reason. There are other reasons as well, such as the enormous cost of maintaining central quarantines. Moreover, the country is seeing markets falter and international trade falls. In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index closed down 3%, while the CSI 300 index of stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.3% as November trade data showed the biggest drop since 2020.
The country’s exports fell 8.7% year-on-year to $296 billion in January 2020, the biggest drop since the outbreak began. In the first nine months of 2022, when the target was 5.5%, its economy grew by 3% per year.
Benefits of reopening. Few policies have done so much damage to the country economically. So much so that just rumors that it will be repealed can create wealth very quickly. The reopening could increase the value of Chinese shares by 20%, or $2.6 trillion, according to the Goldman Sachs bank. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the economy could grow between 5.5% and 6% in the event of a regular reopening.
However, a sudden change in policy could then cause the economy to contract for several months before a broad recovery begins. Experts already predict that the trend will be slow and cautious.
Mobilization for the vaccine. In addition, the Government requested the cooperation of the citizens on the “mobilization of the elderly,” which was China’s weak point in these years. It has been announced that they will accelerate the vaccination campaign for the elderly. It should be noted that approximately 85 million people over the age of 60 in China do not receive the third booster dose. And only 65.8% of those over the age of 80 have the full vaccination regimen.
Even in China, the largest were offered free insurance or incentivized by checks for 50 euros per dose, so as to avoid the fear of punctures. Something not working.
But beware, the possibility of crisis. We can’t forget that after three years under the “Zero Covid” policy China is in the midst of the worst Covid wave ever. And now, instead of imposing more curfews, it has slammed the previous mitigation measures that have governed the lives of its people since 2020. In other words, reopening the country does not mean that the risk has passed. Experts expect a big wave of “exit” if China lets people get on with their lives.
One projection of what would happen if strict measures were lifted predicts up to 279 million cases and 2.1 million deaths in just three months, with the vast majority of unvaccinated adults being older victims. Experts fear that hospitals will collapse due to the increase in the number of patients. China has invested heavily in healthcare infrastructure, but there is still a shortage of staff, beds and equipment. And that could lead to another crisis like in 2020.
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Source: Xatak Android
Ashley Johnson is a science writer for “Div Bracket”. With a background in the natural sciences and a passion for exploring the mysteries of the universe, she provides in-depth coverage of the latest scientific developments.