The head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, voiced concerns on Tuesday, 10 May, about how China is trying to eliminate the coronavirus, in a rare criticism of Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID policy, Reuters reported.
The WHO boss told the media that his organisation does not believe that China’s COVID-19 policy is “sustainable considering the behaviour of the virus.”
“We have discussed about this issue with Chinese experts and we indicated that the approach will not be sustainable… I think a shift would be very important,” Ghebreyesus said.
“We need to balance the control measures against the impact on society, the impact they have on the economy, and that’s not always an easy calibration,” he added.
President Xi Jinping has asserted last week that his government had no intention of deviating from its zero-COVID policy.
The president urged his officials to “unswervingly adhere to the general policy of dynamic zero-Covid” and warned against any criticism of the policy, The Guardian reported.
Research by by scientists in China and the United States has shown that 1.5 million Chinese people could die of COVID-19 if the current policy is revoked without safeguards like increased vaccination and better access to treatments.
After all, only about 50 percent of the Chinese people over the age of 80 are vaccinated.
(With inputs from The Guardian and Reuters.)