“Customs controls, quarantine, population mobilization, mass tests, etc., one round, two rounds, then three rounds,” so many measures taken by China to end the coronavirus pandemic, according to Chen Zhengming, professor of epidemiology at Oxford University. On arrival, Beijing’s tough measures paid off. China has not reported any new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases for the first time since July. This is a sign that the current outbreak may ease amid Beijing’s “zero tolerance” policy and tough antivirus measures across the country.
In a recent epidemic, which authorities say is mainly due to the Delta variant, more than 1,200 people were confirmed to be infected. According to the authorities, the variant was imported from abroad and created a cluster in the eastern city of Nanjing at the end of July. However, no deaths were reported in the outbreak. This has effectively led authorities to take action to fight the epidemic, including mass testing of millions of people to identify and isolate transport companies, as well as varying degrees of travel restrictions.
Areas that are still in custody
Across the country, daily new local cases fell to single digits last week after peaking in early August. Since the weekend, authorities have lifted closures in some areas of Beijing, as well as the cities of Wuhan and Jingmen in central Hubei Province, after those cities sealed off some areas to contain the virus. In fact, experts don’t expect China to change its zero tolerance policy in the near future, even in the face of a handful of local infections.
“Although China’s current policies are highly disruptive and costly, a number of effective measures have been taken that I believe cannot be easily abandoned,” Chen Zhengming told Reuters. China has reported 16 new cases of asymptomatic coronavirus, which it does not classify as confirmed infections until they show signs of infection such as a fever.