China’s top respiratory diseases expert has defended the country’s zero-Covid strategy against scrutiny from some public health experts, saying it was still less costly than living with the disease and reintroducing restrictions each time outbreaks occurred.
The country had no option but to aim for zero infections because the coronavirus was replicating quickly and the global death rate of about 2 per cent was unacceptable, Zhong Nanshan said in an interview with CGTN, China’s state-owned international media arm, published late on Monday.
“Some countries have decided to open up entirely despite still having a few infections,” Zhong said. “That led to a large number of infections in the past two months and they decided to reimpose restrictions. This flip-flopping approach is actually more costly. The psychological impact on citizens and society is greater.”