China's draconian zero Covid policy: People forced to live in cramped metal boxes - watch

China’s draconian zero Covid policy: People forced to live in cramped metal boxes – watch

Beijing: China has been attempting to control the Covid-19 pandemic through iron-fist, via its zero Covid policy. And as part of that policy, people – Covid-19 patients, contacts – are being forced to stay in cramped metal boxes and isolate, reported the Daily Mail. As Beijing gets ready to host the Winter Olympics next month, stricter checks are being imposed in a country which already has draconian measures in place to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Several videos have been posted on social media, which talk about the situation in Xi’an, Anyang and Yuzhou, where people have been quarantined after a few cases of Omicron were reported. The reports in media are based on these videos.

And China is undaunted in its effort to check Covid. Whether its pregnant women, children or elderly, people being forced to stay in crammed boxes even if a single person tests positive in their locality, reported Daily mail. As per the same report, these boxes are  furnished with a wooden bed and a toilet, and people might have to stay for as long as two weeks in these confined spaces. Often people are told after midnight that they have to move to quarantine centres immediately, and move out of their homes. These measures – part of China’s strict zero Covid policy – are aimed at eliminating the outbreak before Lunar New Year and the Winter Olympics next month in China.

China’s draconian rules have often come up for criticism. Recently, a pregnant woman lost her baby after she was denied entry at a Xi’an hospital due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The reason for being denied entry: Her Covid negative test result was four hours too old. Then there have been reports of a man dying of heart attack after the hospital in Xi’an refused to admit him – he was having chest pains – as he lived in a medium risk district.

Zero-Covid strategy: Implementation in China

Countries that quickly closed their borders, once initial reports of a new epidemic emerged from China in January 2020, were able to put zero-Covid strategies in place and keep death rates low. Effective border quarantines were easiest for island nations. But countries with strong central political control, such as China, were also able to implement this strategy.

If Covid  cases and deaths are the only measures of success, then China ranks top overall due to its ability to control personal lives and public behaviour, and its ability to shift quickly to a vaccine-led strategy.

(With Agency inputs)

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