Change in China


Lindsey Mora

Rollback on Zero-COVID has resulted in higher infections in China.

Lindsey Mora, Reporter

Zero-COVID is a public health policy that was implemented by some governments across different countries including China during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to other strategies dealing with Covid, the Zero-COVID strategy uses health measures that are instantly put into place when a person gets infected to prevent transmission as soon as COVID-19 is detected. Zero-COVID is meant to confine the area until it is 100% infection free. Recently, many Chinese citizens have been expressing their frustration and anger in China because of this policy, resulting in large protests across the country. China’s government continues to not acknowledge these protests or allow these topics media coverage. Despite it not being openly acknowledged, it is believed these protests have caused Xi Jinping, China’s president and the Chinese communist party to repeal their Zero-COVID policies within the country.

China’s last known large-scale protest was nearly 33 years ago. In China’s last known protest, student-led demonstrations called for a democratic government after the death of Hu Yaobanga. Hu was the former Communist party leader who worked to introduce democratic reform in China. Protests were immediately combated by the Chinese government resulting in the Tiananmen Square Massacre on the 4th and 5th of June in 1989. 

Recent protests in late November 2022 spread across 16 cities with thousands of people participating and despite the lack of state media attention they received these protests continued. These current protests aren’t just because of the Zero-Covid but for other political reasons as well. In response, Xi and the Chinese communist party allowed less regular use of health codes, home quarantine, limits on lockdowns, acceleration of Covid vaccination, and more domestic travel. Furthermore, Covid outbreaks have become less disruptive along with restrictions on medication being dropped as well. 

Despite the success in achieving these major changes, many citizens as a result are getting infected and fear getting sick. As infection continues to spread rapidly people are staying home, resulting in a drastic change in China’s city traffic. Unfortunately, it will take some time for people in China to see improvement, but as infections subside it seems likely to improve economically and perhaps politically.

For the time being, China will have to prioritize these infections differently than they have before. According to BBC News this latest surge of covid is rapidly filling up hospitals in China and there are many concerns about the mortality rate among the elderly. As this surge continues many people in China will have to work hard to trudge through the issues of the pandemic.