SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – China’s powerful zero-Covid measures stay important to defeat the pandemic and purchase time to enhance vaccination charges and develop new remedies, senior well being advisers wrote in lately printed reviews.
Shanghai, a metropolis of 25 million folks, has been locked down for almost six weeks because it battles China’s greatest coronavirus outbreak, however the authorities have shrugged off criticism of its zero-Covid technique, saying it stays the best choice.
In correspondence printed by the peer-reviewed medical journal the Lancet final Friday (Might 6), a crew of metropolis medical specialists stated Shanghai’s important position within the nationwide economic system made lockdown unavoidable.
“As a number one financial centre and an open metropolis in China, Shanghai has enormous exchanges with different cities and areas within the nation, so the spill-out of virus to different locations… may have unimaginably extreme penalties,” stated the crew, which incorporates Zhang Wenhong, an adviser to authorities in Shanghai on therapy for Covid-19.
Shanghai’s “dynamic” zero-Covid insurance policies would “overcome weak hyperlinks within the immunological barrier in populations throughout the nation”, they stated, stating that round 49 million folks aged 60 and over had been nonetheless unvaccinated.
New vaccines particularly focusing on Omicron variants might be obtainable quickly, however China additionally wanted to beat vaccine hesitancy, particularly amongst outdated and susceptible folks, they added.
Dynamic zero-Covid was nonetheless required to forestall a “run” on China’s well being assets, in accordance with a separate commentary printed within the official journal of China’s Illness Prevention and Management Centre and cowritten by senior authorities well being advisor Liang Wannian.
“The dynamic Covid-zero methods adopted by China have gained a treasured time window for the longer term,” it stated, including that the nation should “seize the chance” to develop extra medicine and vaccines.