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China’s zero Covid policy won’t work, says scientist who warned Omicron, World News

Virologist Tulio de Oliveira, who has warned the world against the Omicron variant, has now said China’s “zero-Covid” policy will not work against the new variant. First detected at the end of November, the Omicron is spreading at a very rapid rate. As a result, Chinese authorities have ordered a strict lockdown as millions of people have been urged to stay at home after the city of Xi’an reported 52 new cases of Covid.

Addressing her Twitter, Oliveira wrote: “China will have great difficulty with Omicron and the zero covid policy. It may need to reach out to the rest of the world with mitigation strategies.”

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He further wrote that China should not punish its public health officials or citizens or foreigners because of a more communicable variant.

Read also | Xi’an lockdown: Chinese city reports community transmission, hemorrhagic fever

It comes after the Chinese disciplinary body said dozens of officials have been punished in Xi’an for an outbreak of the virus. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said 26 Communist Party officials had been sanctioned for “insufficient rigor in the prevention and control of the epidemic.” Chinese officials who have reportedly failed to control the epidemic are regularly fired or reprimanded.

According to the statement, the outbreak in Xi’an can be attributed to the careless attitude of officials.

In October, a party secretary in Inner Mongolia was sacked after his region was affected by several cases. In addition, the head of the Zhengzhou City Health Commission was fired in August after several cases were registered.

China this year reported a death from the virus amid strict measures as the Xi regime continues to follow the “zero-Covid” strategy ahead of the Winter Olympics.

(With contributions from agencies)



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