Beijing [China], May 11 (ANI): China on Wednesday slammed WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus after he said that China’s “zero-COVID” strategy is not “sustainable” given the virus’ ever-evolving nature.
“We hope relevant people will look at China’s COVID policy in an objective and rational light, learn more about the facts, and refrain from making irresponsible remarks,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s regular press conference.
Defending the zero COVID approach, the Chinese spokesperson said, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID policy is not aimed at realizing zero infection, but rather at bringing COVID-19 under control at the minimum social cost in the shortest time possible.”
Zhao stressed that the Chinese government has formulated and implemented the zero-COVID policy based on the country’s national realities and has been adjusting prevention and control protocols based on the changing conditions.
“The purpose is solely to protect people’s life and health to the greatest extent possible and underpin sustained, sound and steady economic and social development,” he said.
After the WHO chief questioned the sustainability of the country’s zero-Covid policy, the head of the world health organisation has been targeted on Chinese social media platforms.
The WHO chief’s comment on Weibo and WeChat was censored as he expressed rare disagreement with Beijing’s policies, CNN reported. The image containing his face has been scrubbed from Chinese social media and the ‘Tedros’ hashtag is also banned.
Speaking at a media briefing, the WHO chief had said, “When we talk about the zero-COVID strategy, we don’t think that it’s sustainable, considering the behaviour of the virus now and what we anticipate in the future.”
China’s strict COVID measures have left Shanghai’s 25 million people trapped in their homes for weeks as the country combats the worst outbreak since the pandemic began.
The Shanghai lockdown has caused outrage and protest.
In the garb of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese authorities are using the Shanghai lockdown to implement the severe surveillance and authoritarian systems, the kinds of which were only seen in far-off provinces like Xinjiang till now. (ANI)