China is slowly increasing its restrictions in Beijing and is continuing its punishing lockdown of Shanghai as the country tries to control the spread of Covid. Top U.S. infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci criticized this approach, saying it is ineffectual.
Today there were 4,651 infections reported in Shanghai, including 34 in the community, defying an ongoing lockdown that has confined its residents to their homes for more than a month.
The city refuses to ease restrictions until cases in the community are at zero for three days in a row.
Beijing saw 50 cases, its 12th double-digit day. The central Chinese city Zhenghzhou announced there would be a snap lockdown designed to cripple transmission of Covid.
Officials are living up to vows of zero tolerance, despite the impact, this is having on people’s quality of life, as well as the economy. Experts say that these lockdowns are unlikely to be successful in the long term because the government is not using the time to boost vaccination rates. The shots its delivering are also less effective, Fauci said.
Fauci said that the purpose of lockdowns is to prepare the population to prevent the future spread of Covid, and therefore, doing a lockdown and nothing else on top of it does not work as a strategy.
Beijing has slowly but surely been putting restrictions into place since Friday. Officials banned eating in restaurants, and put in place requirements for negative test results to enter public venues. People are encouraged to work from home. Schools are suspended for another week, and many subway stations have been shut down.
The steady increase in restrictions has made the population fearful they will soon be in a lockdown like Shanghai, unable to leave for weeks on end.
The country has tried to minimize damage to the economy, but the cost of the strict Covid strategy continues to mount.