SHANGHAI, KOMPAS.com — President Xi Jinping has said that China must stick to its strict “dynamic Covid clearance” policy while the global pandemic remains serious, promising those enduring lockdowns that persistence will prevail in the end.
China’s zero-Covid policy has put millions of people into lockdown and has had a growing impact on the world’s second-largest economy, in contrast with other countries that have thrown off restrictions even though the virus is still spreading.
“We must persist putting people above all, life above all... We must adhere to scientific precision, to dynamic zero-Covid,” Xi said during a visit to the southern island of Hainan on Wednesday, April 13, state media reported.
“The current global pandemic is still very serious, and we cannot relax the prevention and control work. Persistence is victory.”
The coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. Wuhan’s lockdown in early 2020 heralded a Chinese policy that significantly limited the spread of the virus for most of the next two years.
But new outbreaks of the fast-spreading Omicron variant began flaring early this year.
The epicenter of China’s battle with Covid is now the financial hub of Shanghai where most of its 25 million residents are under lockdown.
Shanghai authorities said on April 14 that the daily tally of new asymptomatic cases had risen again, to 25,146 compared with 25,141 a day earlier. Symptomatic cases rose to 2,573 from 1,189.
But raising hopes for a shift in policy, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a guide on home quarantining on its social media page this week.
Under China’s tough rules, even people with asymptomatic or very mild cases must go into quarantine at centralized facilities, where many people have complained about poor conditions.