Omicron variant, China praises South Africa

“He quickly shared the information”

“China appreciates the fact that South Africa has promptly shared with the world the information discovered on the new” Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the midst of a pandemic that “is a common enemy of all humanity”. Word of the spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Zhao Lijian, according to the transcript of the statements to the press released by the Beijing Foreign Ministry.

The Asian giant, accused for the initial management of the coronavirus emergency and the lack of transparency, insists on “science to fight the virus” and reiterates that it is ready to “work in solidarity with the international community” to “defeat” Covid-19.

Zhao said he believed that ahead of the Olympic Winter Games next February in Beijing with the Omicron variant “there will be some challenges in terms of prevention and control measures”, but also added that “China’s” experience in the ‘dealing with the virus “makes him confident about the success of the appointment,” as scheduled “.

WASHINGTON POST – China, notes the Washington Post, celebrates its decision to abide by strict restrictions on international travel as part of the “zero Covid” strategy. Just this morning, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, quoted by the Global Times, acknowledged the new challenge represented by the Omicron variant for the organization of the Winter Olympic Games scheduled for next February in Beijing, at the same time reiterating the confidence in the success of the appointment for the “experience” of China “in dealing with the coronavirus”.

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the official Xinhua agency reported, no cases of the Omicron variant have yet been found in mainland China, although the new variant has arrived in Hong Kong. Prior to its discovery, Beijing’s zero tolerance of Covid-19 made China an exception as the rest of the world gradually ‘reopened’. Now, writes the Post, as many countries reverse course and tighten border restrictions, Chinese officials claim they were right, stand firm, and yesterday a National Health Commission statement on the Omicron variant confirmed that it still works. ‘approach of China.

The newspaper recalls the debate opened in recent months between Chinese experts on the arrival of the Delta variant on the advisability of abandoning the “zero Covid” strategy to switch to a mitigation one in order to avoid repercussions on an economic and social level. But the approach should not be changed according to a study released last week by the CDC and reported by the Post, according to which a contagion mitigation strategy would lead to a peak of serious cases higher than the early 2020 data in the space of one or more two days and would have a “devastating impact on the health system in China”, causing a “huge disaster”, so “for the moment we are not ready for ‘opening’ strategies”.

And on Sunday, at a conference organized by Caijing magazine, the epidemiologist of the CDC Wu Zunyou argued that China, by rejecting the idea of ​​a more flexible approach, has managed to avoid up to 260 million infections and three million deaths and that for this reason the strict rules on quarantine upon entry into China, the ‘zero tolerance’ policy on Covid are useful at least until the whole winter or spring.

Not just health. For some Chinese commentators, the Post concludes, being right about Covid politics is more than a victory in the name of health, it’s a matter of competing political systems and the Omicron variant “only serves to reinforce propaganda claims about the Party’s superiority. Chinese Communist “. “Western media maliciously slandered China’s ‘dynamic zeroing’ policy, believing that the price of this approach was too high and unsustainable. This view is absolutely wrong,” according to an editorial in the People’s Daily, relaunched. from the American newspaper, in which the author – Zhou Xinfa of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences – does not forget a reference to the “differences in systems of government” between the Asian giant and the West.