China To ‘Unswervingly’ Keep To Covid Zero Policy, Dashing Hopes
National Health Commission officials said outbreaks across the country made sticking to current policies important.
(Bloomberg) -- China will “unswervingly” adhere to its current Covid controls as the country faces an increasingly serious outbreaks, health officials said, damping hopes that Beijing will ease its stringent policies that have put cities and factories under prolonged lockdowns.
“Previous practices have proved that our prevention and control plans and a series of strategic measures are completely correct,” Hu Xiang, an official at National Health Commission’s disease prevention and control bureau, said at a briefing Saturday. “The policies are also the most economical and effective.”
There has been widespread speculation that China will step away from its Covid Zero policy. Unverified online posts about its potential reopening helped key stock gauges post their best weekly performance in years this week. China is said to be preparing to scrap a “circuit breaker” system that suspends international flights that ferried the most infected passengers to the country, Bloomberg News reported.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s announcement that China will make BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine available to foreigners living in the country also fanned expectations that Beijing is preparing for a reopening.
NHC officials said outbreaks across the country made sticking to current policies important. China reported more than 3,500 new local Covid cases for Friday with flareups in Guangdong, Inner Mongolia, Fujian and Beijing.
The central government will also ask local authorities in cities including Zhengzhou and Shenzhen to correct excessive Covid control measures, said Tuo Jia, another health commission official.
Local authorities locked down an area where Foxconn Technology Group’s biggest iPhone plant is located until Nov. 9, after workers fled the factory in fear of infection and isolations.
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