China’s zero-Covid strategy to defeat the pandemic is not sustainable, the head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, adding that the WHO had told Beijing so.
Draconian measures have trapped most of Shanghai’s 25 million people at home for weeks as China battles the country’s worst outbreak since the pandemic began.
Yet Shanghai’s lockdown has intensified, sparking outrage and rare protests in the last major economy still stuck to a zero-Covid policy.
“When we talk about the zero Covid strategy, we don’t think it is sustainable, given the current behavior of the virus and what we expect for the future,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a conference. hurry.
“We have discussed this issue with Chinese experts and we have indicated that the approach will not be sustainable and given the behavior of the virus, I think a change would be very important.”
WHO emergency director Michael Ryan said it was time to press the reset button, saying any measure to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic should show “due respect for individual rights and humans”.
“We have to balance control measures against the impact on society, the impact they have on the economy, and that’s not always an easy calibration,” he said.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said that globally it was impossible to stop all transmission of the virus.
“Our goal, globally, is not to find all cases and stop all transmissions. That’s really not possible right now,” she said.
“But what we need to do is reduce transmission because the virus is circulating at such an intense level.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)