The lockdown in China has been lifted in many areas, but there are still some restrictions in place. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the current situation in China?
The lockdown in China has been lifted in many areas, but there are still some restrictions in place. For example, schools and businesses have reopened, but people are still required to wear masks and maintain social distancing. There are also travel restrictions in place, preventing people from leaving certain areas.
What do the restrictions mean for travelers?
The restrictions mean that travelers should plan their trips carefully and check the latest information before they travel. They should also be prepared for changes in plans, as the situation could change at any time.
Is it safe to travel to China?
The situation in China is constantly changing, so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer. However, the risks of traveling to China are generally low, as long as you take precautions and stay up-to-date with the latest information.
What precautions should I take if I do travel to China?
If you do travel to China, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus. First, you should avoid contact with sick people. Second, you should wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. Finally, you should wear a mask if you’re in an area where the virus is circulating.
China’s commitment to zero cases
China’s commitment to zero cases of COVID-19 is unlikely to waver soon, judging by President Xi Jinping’s opening speech at the Communist Party Congress on Sunday. Mr. Xi, who is set to be handed a historic third term to lead the Party, said that the government would not “waver” in its commitment to record zero cases. This commitment is in line with China’s history of strict disease control measures and its recent successes in preventing and containing major outbreaks such as SARS and avian influenza. However, it remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in the long term, given the continued spread of the virus globally.
Showing no sign of Backing Down
Despite the challenges, Mr. Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have shown no sign of backing down from their hardline stance on Covid-19. On the contrary, they have doubled down on their efforts to keep the virus out, even at the cost of immense economic and social disruption.
This is in part because Mr. Xi’s rule is defined by his ability to keep China stable and prosperous. Any major setback could be seen as a failure on his part and could jeopardize his grip on power.
But it is also because the CCP sees the fight against Covid-19 as a test of its legitimacy. The party has long justified its rule by pointing to its ability to deliver economic growth and improve living standards. But now that the economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, the party is keen to show that it can still protect the Chinese people from a major health crisis.
The result is a lockdown policy that has been described as “excessive” and “draconian” by some observers. It has caused immense hardship for ordinary Chinese citizens, many of whom have been trapped in their homes for months on end with little food or medical help.
But so far, the policy appears to be working. China has largely managed to keep the virus out, even as it has spread rapidly around the world. And Mr. Xi’s approval ratings remain high, despite the economic pain caused by the lockdown.
For now, it seems clear that the CCP is not going to give up on its zero-Covid strategy, no matter how much suffering it causes.
The rise in cases has led to some housing estates and shopping centers being locked down in Beijing. This is a measure that the city has taken in order to control the spread of the virus. However, some residents half-jokingly observe that the capital has managed this by locking down the rest of the country when needed.
Starting in March, the BBC gathered data on China’s lockdowns across phases. The fourth phase of Covid control measures kicked off in March, making comparisons between phases harder because of changes in Official language definition, skewing data.
China’s bureaucrats have certainly found inventive new ways to describe lockdowns. The measures had become so controversial and dreaded that confusing official speak was one way to make them more palatable.
Government’s Messaging on The Coronavirus
The government’s messaging on the coronavirus has been confusing, to say the least. First, they asked people to practice “stasis management” and stay at home as much as possible. Then, they introduced the concept of “temporary societal control,” which is basically a lockdown with a different name.
Now, it seems like they’re back to using the term “stasis management.” But what does this all mean, and how can we keep track of the ever-changing guidelines?
Here’s a breakdown of the different terms used by the government, and what they actually mean:
Stasis management: This simply means staying at home as much as possible. The goal is to reduce unnecessary movement and contact with others, in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Temporary societal control: This is essentially a lockdown by another name. Under this measure, people are asked to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. All non-essential businesses are closed, and travel is restricted.
Now, it seems like the government is back to using the term “stasis management.” However, it’s important to note that this does not mean that the restrictions have been lifted – we are still expected to stay at home as much as possible.
“Enclosed management” was another new phrase invented in the southern province of Guangdong. It means that the village, district, or residential compound is enclosed, with checkpoints at entrances and exits. People and vehicles are allowed to enter and leave with passes. People who do not live or work in enclosed areas are not allowed to enter. But, residents were told, it was not a lockdown.
When track-and-trace methods started to grate, eager officials came up with an alternative: “temporal and spatial overlapper”. The sci-fi-inspired phrase refers to someone whose location, tracked by their phone, overlaps with that of an infected person.
This person is then placed under surveillance and their contacts are traced. If they are deemed to be at high risk, they are quarantined.
But the phrase did not go down well on social media, with many people asking why officials could not just say “close contact”.
And so it was that “close contact” became the new normal, a phrase that is now used ubiquitously in China when referring to someone who has been in close proximity to an infected person.
A “close contact” is defined as someone who has been within two meters of an infected person for more than 15 minutes or someone who has had direct physical contact with them, such as shaking hands.
They are considered to be at high risk of infection and are placed under medical surveillance. Their close contacts are also traced and may be quarantined.
The phrase has now entered the everyday vernacular, with people using it to describe anyone from a colleague they have had a meeting with, to a friend they have had dinner with.
“I was a close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, so I had to go into quarantine,” is a sentence that is now commonly heard in China.
Politics on Covid-19 in China
Covid is political in China, and the party congress is a key moment for President Xi Jinping to show his strength as a leader. The once-in-five-year event carries special import this year, as Mr. Xi looks to cement his position as the country’s most powerful leader in decades.
The congress is typically a carefully scripted affair, but this year’s event will be especially closely watched for any sign of Covid-19 outbreaks. Mr. Xi and his administration have been adamant that “dynamic zero” is a success that has saved lives, but any outbreak during the congress would be a major embarrassment.
Still, with careful planning and a bit of luck, Mr. Xi should be able to pull off a successful congress and further solidify his position as China’s top leader.
The decision for Locking Down Wuhan
The decision to lockdown Wuhan and other parts of China was controversial at the time, but it now appears to have been successful in preventing a major outbreak like the one in Shanghai earlier this year. However, some experts are questioning whether the cost is justified, given the economic toll it has taken.
It is clear that China is not yet prepared for a post-Covid world, and this lockdown strategy may not be sustainable in the long term. Nevertheless, it has been successful in keeping national case counts low and may buy China some time to get better prepared for the future.
Arguments of Public Health Experts
Some public health experts argue that if the Chinese government’s goal truly is to save lives through its zero-Covid policy, it would have implemented a more vigorous vaccine policy like other countries. However, China has refused to import vaccines despite evidence that its homemade jabs haven’t proved as effective. Additionally, unvaccinated elderly people who Beijing says it’s trying to protect with zero-Covid have died from the virus. Therefore, it appears that there may be other motivations behind China’s strict policy.
But what zero-Covid has done, experts say, is project a veneer of control and stability as the year’s biggest political event unfolds.
Prof Hurst expects the intermittent lockdowns to last at least until March next year when China’s equivalent of parliament convenes to choose Mr. Xi as president for the third time.
“Lockdowns prevent Covid outbreaks from spreading,” Prof Hurst adds. “But they also exert incredibly strict social control.”
This has been evident in Beijing since early this year when the city was hit by its first major outbreak of the virus. Authorities responded with a series of measures that effectively locked down millions of people in their homes.
Now, as another major outbreak threatens to derail the Communist Party’s plans for a smooth and orderly National Congress, Beijing is once again under lockdown.
The difference this time, though, is that the city has been divided into two zones: one for those who are allowed to leave their homes and another for those who are not.
This division has created a sense of unease and anxiety among many residents, who say they feel like they are living in a prison.
“I can’t go out, I can’t see my friends, I can’t do anything,” said one man, who asked to be identified only by his surname, Wang.
“It’s like we’re in jail. We’re just waiting for this to end.”
The latest news on China’s lockdown is that the city of Beijing is divided into two zones: one for those who are allowed to leave their homes and another for those who are not. This division has created a sense of unease and anxiety among many residents, who say they feel like they are living in a prison. “I can’t go out, I can’t see my friends, I can’t do anything,” said one man, who asked to be identified only by his surname, Wang. “It’s like we’re in jail. We’re just waiting for this to end.”
For More Amazing Updates, Keep Visiting Trendy News magazine.