China has maintained a strict zero-Covid policy since the outbreak began, almost two years ago – and it shows no signs of changing tack to living with the virus.
Children as young as 3 will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines, where 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated and authorities are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks.
“Zero tolerance or zero transmission, we have no option but to do this because the virus spreads too fast and replicates exponentially,” said Zhong Nanshan, the prominent pulmonologist who heads a Covid task force set up after the virus first emerged in late 2019. “It is indeed costly to adopt the strategy of zero transmission but leaving Covid uncontrolled and opening up will be even more so,” he told.
A disturbing video released from China shows young children with QR codes being treated like products as they line up to take COVID-19 tests.
“Cute and brave! Self-discipline and hard-working are keys to why China can defeat rounds of COVID-19 outbreak. Even kids from kindergarten, with QR code, hung around their necks, queued in an orderly manner for nucleic acid test,” Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, tweeted along with the video.
Twitter has temporary issue so we uploaded the video here:
Cute and brave! Self-discipline and hard-working are keys to why China can defeat rounds of COVID-19 outbreak. Even kids from kindergarten, with QR code hung around their necks, queued in an orderly manner for nucleic acid test. pic.twitter.com/ravUttqLkV
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 6, 2021
Sinovac started an efficacy trial with 14,000 child participants across multiple countries in September. Its approval in China was based on smaller phase 1 and phase 2 trials. Sinopharm’s Beijing shot was also approved based on smaller phase 1 and phase 2 trials.