A high-ranking official of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing has warned residents that they should be prepared to deal with restrictive COVID measures for the next five years.
The Guardian reported that a notice was published by Chinese outlet Beijing Daily which featured a statement from Cai Qi, the Beijing secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The original message read: “In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalization of epidemic prevention and control.”
After the warning was shared widely on Chinese social media, the portion relating to the “next five years” was removed, the Guardian said.
While most countries have abandoned the flawed “zero-COVID” policy, including once argent adherents like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Chinese President Xi Jinping has remained committed to the strategy.
In its commitment to zero-COVID, the Guardian reports that Communist Party authorities were continuing to maintain Beijing's “strict management of the joint prevention and control coordination mechanism,” along with the emergency response system, which includes measures created to deprive the circulation and transfer of the virus with “isolation, management and control... as soon as [transmissions] appear.”
The notice also mentioned the continuing of residential inspections, the “normalization” of regular COVID testing and the monitoring of those arriving in and departing from the city.
A hashtag relating to the message which appeared on Chinese social media app Weibo was viewed near a million times before it was removed hours later, the Guardian noted.
The zero-COVID policy the Chinese Communist Party has subscribed to can be highly disruptive to life, as one Bloomberg editor attested to in a story published on Monday following an apparent exposure at Beijing's massive China World Mall.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, China's heavy-handed COVID measures have led to its population suffering from more severe mental health issues when comparison to other nations according to a recent study.