China set to remain closed for ALL of 2022 as Beijing doubles down on Covid strategy

China: Xian enters lockdown after Coronavirus cases surge

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CHINA’S border restrictions could remain in place for the entirety of 2022 as the country gears up for important international events, such as the Winter Olympics, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Analysts for the group wrote that such a conviction will be bolstered by reports the Chinese-made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

The researchers added that quarantine measures required for international arrivals would likely be maintained to safeguard against outbreaks of coronavirus during the upcoming Winter Olympics, as well as significant political events, such as the 20th Communist Party Congress.

Ahead of this congress towards the end of the year, “we doubt policymakers would eliminate quarantines before then”, the analysts added.

They said: “With transmission typically higher in the winter months, it’s possible that border restrictions could be kept largely intact until spring 2023.”

China is currently enforcing its Covid Zero strategy, compared with much of the rest of the world which is adjusting to cohabiting with the virus.

Mass testing with entire areas in strict lockdowns has become a common feature of the country’s approach to combating the spread of the virus.

But the shutting up of citizens in their homes in an attempt to eradicate the virus has caused significant problems for the populations under these measures.

Increasingly desperate calls for food and vital supplies have continued to be heard from the locked-down residents of the cities of Xi’an and Yuzhou.

Xi’an’s 13 million inhabitants have been confined for nearly a fortnight, and the over one million people living in Yuzhou are on the third day of their lockdown following the discovery of three asymptomatic cases.

Xi’an, which is home to the famous Terracotta Warriors, is the centre of the largest coronavirus outbreak in China since the original epicentre in Wuhan.

The final week of 2021 saw China’s case number climb to its highest point since March 2020.

Residents in the city fear they are now at risk of starving within the confines of their own homes as venturing outside to buy food is a distant prospect.

Under previous measures, one person from every household would be allowed out of their home to buy groceries every two days.

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This was then tightened in response to rising cases.

These stringent measures sparked an outpouring of appeals on Weibo – China’s equivalent to Facebook or Twitter – with people sharing stories about struggling to find anything to eat and calling on others for help.

Many used the platform to vent anger that they hadn’t panic-bought or hoarded supplies – something the authorities had strongly discouraged.

Those heading up the city had promised residents that there was no shortage of supplies.

This was ridiculed by one Weibo user, reported by MailOnline, who said: “I don’t want to hear any more about how everything is fine.

“So what if supplies are so abundant – they’re useless if you don’t actually give them to people.”

But experts have cautioned that the measures which come as part of the Covid Zero policy may not have the desired effect as the world contends with more transmissible variants.

Ian Bremmer, president of political risk consultancy, the Eurasia Group, warned that these harsh measures won’t be as effective as they were in the first year of the pandemic.

He told Bloomberg TV: “The ability to live with the virus, an extremely easily transmissible virus that isn’t as fatal, is the exact opposite of China’s policy of zero Covid.

“Zero Covid will not work for them.

“But they’re going to stick with it.”

He added: “It’s not primarily a virus-driven challenge, but it’s one that the Chinese government can’t get out of their way on.”

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