New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Chart of the Day
4 April 2022

How Omicron is testing China’s zero-Covid strategy

The country is enduring its biggest rise in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

China is experiencing its biggest rise in Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic in 2020. The country, which had a policy of reaching zero infections, has managed to live virus-free for much of the pandemic but the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has meant parts of China have had to be put back into lockdown.

Shanghai, which reported more than 9,000 new infections on Sunday (3 April), went into a four-day lockdown on 28 March, with tight restrictions on movement remaining. China plans to test all 26 million residents of the city as cases continue to rise despite the lockdown. Healthcare workers and military personnel have been sent in to help the operation.


In Hong Kong, which has also had a zero-Covid policy, Omicron swept through the population in February and March. The virus was aided there by relatively low immunity levels among the elderly population because of low rates of vaccination and prior infection. In mainland China, too, only around half of those over the age of 80 are fully vaccinated, and less than a fifth have had a booster dose.

Even though the case numbers are still small by international standards (by comparison, the UK reported an average 75,364 cases a day over the last week), the rising numbers threaten to undermine China’s strategy, and locking down entire cities could lead to serious economic woes.

[See also: Did the UK perform better than we thought on Covid-19?]

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy