Fears of deadly infection surge as China abandons zero-Covid policy

The portable PCR testing booth dangled in the air over a dark Beijing street, captured on camera as it was winched away by a crane in the middle of the night. The image spread rapidly across Chinese social media, the perfect symbol of the bewilderingly rapid end of a draconian era. In the face of … Read more

Zero-Covid policy is costing China its role as the world’s workshop

The anti-lockdown unrest gripping China has forced the authorities in Beijing to respond by easing some restrictions in big manufacturing centres, as they map out a “new stage and mission” in the country’s deeply unpopular zero-Covid policy. There are concerns that more freedom of movement could allow the virus to rip through a population where … Read more

Vaccines are key to China’s zero-Covid exit but scepticism poses challenge

China’s government looks to be starting to roll back its zero-Covid policy. But after three years of saying the resource-intensive, economically damaging elimination strategy is the only way to go, experts say it will be a medical and political challenge to end it. Much of China’s exit strategy is riding on vaccinations, but this is … Read more

China brings in ‘emergency’ level censorship over zero-Covid protests

Chinese authorities have initiated the highest “emergency response” level of censorship, according to leaked directives, including a crackdown on VPNs and other methods of bypassing online censorship after unprecedented protests demonstrated widespread public frustration with the zero-Covid policy. The crackdown, including the tracking and questioning of protesters, comes alongside the easing of pandemic restrictions in … Read more

Either in lockdown or preparing for lockdown: life amid zero-Covid in Beijing

Life in Beijing these days is spent either in lockdown or preparing for lockdown. Stockpiling food at home, just in case, has become the new norm. Meeting friends is hard because every few weeks one of us is sealed inside their home for days. Carrying out the daily routine of only working, eating and sleeping … Read more

US and Canada urge China not to harm zero-Covid protesters amid new clashes with police

The US and Canada have urged China not to harm or intimidate protesters opposing Covid-19 lockdowns as police clashed with demonstrators and the country’s top security body called for a crackdown on “hostile forces”. Protesters scuffled with police in the southern Chinese megacity of Guangzhou late on Tuesday night, according to witnesses and footage. Security … Read more

China moves to deter zero-Covid protests and vaccinate older people

Police have been out in force in China to stamp out zero-Covid protests and health authorities have launched a vaccination drive for older people, days after a show of civil disobedience unprecedented since president Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago. At least one person was arrested, according to social media videos, and there were … Read more

Blank paper, equations and alpacas: the symbols of China’s zero-Covid protests

Blank sheets of paper, mathematical equations and even alpacas: protesters in China have found creative ways to express anger at the government’s zero-Covid measures, unleashing a wave of dissent against long and severe lockdowns, the deaths of factory workers in Urumqi, and the censorship they’re not allowed to talk about. The extraordinary protests, which began … Read more

Zero-Covid policy: why is China still having severe lockdowns?

China’s strategy of controlling Covid-19 with lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines has provoked the greatest show of public dissent against the ruling Communist party in decades. Initially, China succeeded in suppressing the virus, but then more transmissible variants emerged, and in recent weeks the outbreak has grown with record numbers of cases reported. Global health … Read more

China isn’t ready to abandon zero-Covid – whether or not protests continue | Devi Sridhar

Protesters across China have made one thing very clear: after three years of harsh restrictions, many people are tired of their government’s pursuit of an increasingly ineffective zero-Covid strategy. China once celebrated its success in containing outbreaks and keeping its economy running, but it has been slow to adapt to a world of more infective … Read more