China: Xi Jinping orders the continuation of zero Covid, in the midst of an epidemic rebound

No relaxation in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a continuation of the zero Covid policy Thursday, March 17, as China faces its worst outbreak since the first wave of 2020.

As soon as a case of Covid appears, the authorities impose strict containment measures and carry out massive and repeated screenings of the population. But the Omicron strain is behind an upsurge in the epidemic, which on Thursday affected 2,432 people in the past 24 hours, according to figures from the Ministry of Health. A high official record for China.

“We must always put people and their lives first, stick […] to the zero Covid policy, and to stop the spread of the epidemic as quickly as possible”, Xi Jinping ordered on Thursday, according to comments reported by public television. This statement comes at a time when tens of millions of Chinese are confined across the country. In just a few days, at least 17 cities were placed in quarantine, including the technological metropolis of Shenzhen (south), populated by 17.5 million inhabitants.

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