The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, was today censored on Chinese social networks after assuring that “The ‘zero covid’ policy of the Asian country is not sustainable”.
“The ‘zero covid’ policy that the Chinese authorities are applying in the face of the latest uptick in cases is not sustainable taking into account current knowledge about the coronavirus”, Tedros said this Tuesday, adding that “now we have a good understanding of the virus and good tools, with which moving to another strategy would be very important”.
According to the manager, who last visited China last February on the occasion of the opening of the Winter Olympics, the WHO also conveyed to his Chinese peers that the country’s anticovid strategy “is not sustainable.”
“From the WHO, we have always stressed that we must strike a balance between preventive measures and the impact they have on society and in the economy, and that is not always an easy equation,” added emergency director Michael Ryan at a press conference.
The videos with the statements of the directors of the WHO were collected this Wednesday by Chinese social networks such as Sina Weibo, equivalent to Twitter (blocked in China), or by the Wechat instant messaging application, from where they were shared massively until the censors removed them entirely.
Unlike most of the world, which has already decided to live with the virus, China has maintained a zero-tolerance policy against covid for two years under the argument of protecting the elderly population, which in a high percentage is not vaccinated, or avoiding a hypothetical health collapse.
However, and unlike the previous two years, the harshness of the measures with which the outbreaks have been faced this time -especially in Shanghaitotally confined for more than a month– has provoked an unprecedented critical reaction in the population, which has spread countless complaints and videos of denunciation through the networks.
On May 6, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that “measures to stop outbreaks will stand the test of time” and urged to “fight against any attempt to distort, question or challenge” this policy.
According to the latest official count from health authorities published today, China reported seven new deaths from covid and 324 new positives, 302 of them local.