BEIJING: China will persist with its COVID-19 policies to avoid losing control over local coronavirus outbreaks, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party warned in a commentary for the third straight day.
“Lying flat is not to be advised, and to win (the COVID-19 battle) while lying flat is not possible,” People’s Daily wrote on Wednesday (Oct 12).
China has been grappling with a COVID-19 resurgence after the National Day “Golden Week” this month, traditionally a peak travel season, and days before a key Party congress where Xi Jinping is expected to extend his leadership.
In recent days, big Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have tightened preventive measures such as requiring residents to be tested for COVID-19 more frequently.
Despite China’s small case load compared with the rest of the world, and the toll its COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions have exacted on the economy and population, China has urged people to accept the measures and quashed any speculation that it would relax its policies.
“Only by insisting on dynamically clearing (cases as they arise) could huge losses arising from losing control of the epidemic be avoided by the full extent,” People’s Daily wrote.
China’s health authority reported on Wednesday 1,760 new local cases for Oct 11, down from 2,089 a day earlier.
“Once epidemic prevention and control is relaxed, a large number of people will be infected within a short period of time, a large number of severe cases and deaths will occur, resulting in a run on medical resources,” the newspaper said.
The impact of China’s tough COVID-19 policies has been felt across the world.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday cut its 2022 and 2023 economic growth forecasts for China to 3.2 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively, saying the frequent lockdowns under the country’s zero-COVID policy have taken a toll on its economy.
Due to the size of the Chinese economy and its importance for international supply chains, the COVID-19 disruptions will also weigh on global trade and activity, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook.
China says its policies will save lives.
“Some countries choose to ‘lie down’ and adopt the policy of ‘coexisting with the virus’, not because they do not want to prevent and control the epidemic, but because they are unable to prevent and control the epidemic,” People’s Daily said.