In the West, and particularly here in the UK, it feels like the pandemic is over. China, however, is still holding onto its “zero-covid” policy. Because of the increasing infectiousness of newer variants that becomes increasingly difficult. The response: more stringent measures. China locked down the entirety of Shanghai and prolonged the lockdown as well, leaving people short on food and basic supplies. Residents go to their balconies to sing in protest. In an almost surrealistic scene, a drone shows up to urge residents to “control their soul’s desire for freedom”.
For all the harsh measures, the results seem to be lacking. A single line chart says it all: Shanghai is following the same path as Hong Kong, which has much less stringent restrictions in place.
Will Omicron be the turning point for Chinese covid policy?