COVID-19: Delta mutant How does it affect China’s epidemic-free strategy? – Live News

When Air China Airlines Flight CA910 touched the Chinese city of Nanjing on July 10, the plane was not only carrying passengers.

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One of those who arrived from the Russian capital Moscow carried the COVID-19 mutant. Delta species are also attached. After they got off the plane An employee of Nanjing’s Lukou Airport came to collect the trash.

Chinese officials said When those cleaners leave the plane They also brought this virus to the outside world. This caused the widest outbreak in China since the outbreak in Wuhan.

in the last few weeks which is the busiest summer travel season Delta has been detected in at least 16 counties and municipalities. Several of the infected clusters are linked to Nanjing.

Although the number of confirmed cases of 200-300 is relatively low for a country of 1.4 billion people, many are shocked to see the virus emerge in key cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Wu. Han

A child is tested for coronavirus in Yangzhou, China's Jiangsu Province. Getty Images Yangzhou city in east China’s Jiangsu Province has carried out several rounds of testing for the virus.

China dealt with this in a similar way. Carpet testing for millions of people Some were examined more than once. There are many city lockdowns. and transportation routes are cut in some areas

This is what experts call a “non-COVID-resistant” strategy to eradicate the virus. Which is not the only Chinese that use this method. There are also many other countries including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

But the rapid spread of the delta mutant This raises a number of questions as to whether Is the method China is using really sustainable in the face of the contagious mutant coronavirus?

“Caught and must be killed”

Experts point to several signs that people are “falling cards”.

Before the Nanjing case There have been several smaller outbreaks in Guangdong province. and areas along the border with Russia and Myanmar

The wearing of masks was less than in the early stages of the epidemic. and people are back together again Theater show in Zhangjiajie City Tourist destinations in Hunan Province Around 2,000 people attended the show, it was said to have caused the spread of the virus rapidly in the current outbreak.

official media refer to Numerous “obvious vulnerabilities” at Nanjing airport

Officials believe the plane’s cleaners were not following coronavirus prevention guidelines, and admitted the flight had been allowed to land despite the ban from multiple carriers of coronavirus-infected passengers.

Officials have disinfected several areas of Nanjing, including the port area. Getty Images Officials have disinfected several areas of Nanjing, including the port area.

Jin Dongyan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said the accommodative stance of a rapid return to tight lockdowns showed normal problems in China’s administration. which will not allow an error to occur.

“We have a saying that ‘Caught and must be killed Let it be chaotic, a very extreme Chinese practice,” he told the BBC.

While some people are concerned about whether the Chinese vaccine is working or not. After the official revealed that Many people who have been infected by the Nanjing incident have been fully vaccinated.

Public health officials have reassured the public. Although the authorities have considered boosting the vaccine, Shao Yiming of the Chinese Center of Disease Control and Prevention said while there was no vaccine available to prevent contracting the virus, “at this time, [วัคซีน] can help control various mutations of this virus.”

China has given people more than 1.7 billion doses of the vaccine, but said no. How many people have been fully vaccinated?

Experts say Unlike other countries that will open the country after the vaccine is large. China seems unwilling to change its way of dealing with the latest coronavirus outbreak.

Professor Huang Yanzhong, a senior researcher in global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States, told the BBC: “It seems this is a lack of confidence in my vaccine. Therefore, this strategy will continue to be used.”

A recent Global Times editorial. It rejected the idea of ​​opening up the United Kingdom, saying it was “politically incomprehensible” because it would result in Instead, China called for a “covid-free” approach and opening a “controllable window” to the outside world.

But Zhang Wenhong, a senior medical expert, commented on the Caixin news website, admitting that latest outbreak “It has reminded us once again that the virus is still present.”

“Whether we like it or not The future will always be at risk,” he said, adding that China should “promote a return to normal life while enabling citizens to reduce their fear of the virus”.

difficult battle

It may not be easy to switch to a strategy that experts refer to as. as a mitigation strategy which will focus more on reducing the number of deaths than those infected.

One of the biggest problems for the official seems. Zhang would imply that it is How to convince the risk-averse Chinese people?

“They have experienced great trauma in the past. saw what was happening in Wuhan which the public health system cannot support if they return to open the country they are afraid that China’s health system will not be able to cope. [กับผู้ติดเชื้อที่พุ่งสูงขึ้นอีกครั้ง] Yes, especially in rural areas,” said Prof. Huang.

Prof. Jin said the way the Chinese state media spoke about the virus. It has also contributed to this fear, with some bureaus “presenting the news of the outbreak in India as if it was the end of the world. Report on the situation in the UK and US. To look very bad.”

People in line undergo testing in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Getty Images Millions of people across China are being tested for coronavirus, including those in Wuhan.

There were also questions about losing face.

The success of COVID-free has made the Chinese government “It is claimed that this method is better than the Western method. which failed to contain the spread of the virus. and even claimed that China’s political system is the best,” said Prof Huang.

“If they start to abandon that approach and turn to mitigation methods instead. It is as if they accept the Western methods that they have criticized.”

The outline of the division

There have been few casualties since Wuhan and the economy has recovered. Some people in China may not feel the need for change.

But long-term COVID-free strategies also come with risks.

Nancy Jagger, Professor of Bioethics at the medical college The University of Washington points out that massive lockdowns affect the poor more than others, and it also affects the mental health of the population over the long term.

“If China doesn’t change fast enough The impact will be more severe on people at all levels of society,” she said. She called for a less decisive approach. such as choosing more specific lockdown points and giving more importance to certain groups than others permission to open a school Gyms and restaurants remain closed.

Prof Huang also warned of China’s long-term image problems as other countries are opening up. Countries that use the same coronavirus-free concept, Australia and Singapore, have recently announced several plans that stick to an 80% vaccination rate.

Prof. Jagger said that in the end Our world will be divided into two groups: those who continue to use covid-free strategies. and groups that switched to mitigation instead.

“But we might not have a choice. but have to admit it in the post-pandemic period The number of deaths will decrease But the virus will come back every year like the flu,” she said.

“If that’s the case China will have to live with it.”

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BBC Thai news published on the website News Sod is a collaboration of two news organizations.

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