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COVID-19 Outbreak In China Began Before Restrictions Were Eased: WHO

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COVID-19 Outbreak In China Began Before Restrictions Were Eased

(CTN NEWS) – On Wednesday, the World Health Organization reported that the flare-up in Covid-19 cases in China was well underway before the government began easing restrictions.

After nearly three years of trying to eradicate the virus, the China government abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy, scrapping mass testing and quarantines.

“In China, the explosion of cases is not due to the lifting of Covid restrictions. China’s outbreak began long before the zero-Covid policy was eased,” said WHO emergency chief Michael Ryan.

The narrative goes that China lifted the restrictions, and suddenly, the disease is out of control,” he said at the U.N. health agency Geneva headquarters.

He said, referring to the control measures, “I think the Chinese authorities have strategically determined that that, for them, is not the best option anymore.”

As a result of the Omicron variant of the virus, which was detected around a year ago, China-style restrictions are less effective than they were against previous strains when vaccination coverage was low.

COVID-19 Outbreak In China Began Before Restrictions Were Eased

Image Credit: Reuters 

He told a press conference at the U.N. correspondents’ association that the super-transmissibility of Omicron made it impossible to use public health or social measures to fully contain the virus.

According to Ryan, such measures had primarily been used to protect health systems during an increase in vaccination rates, but now they have become less useful.

Data from Hong Kong shows that inactivated Chinese vaccines perform

very well when given the third dose. However, it did take the third dose to show that effect,” he said.

He added: “The increase in transmission intensity occurred long before any policy change.”

Leaders in China are determined to push ahead despite a surge in cases that experts fear are beyond their capabilities.

It is estimated that millions of elderly are still unvaccinated, and underfunded hospitals do not have the resources to deal with an influx of infected patients.

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