PE Ledger

Beijing postpones events as Covid sets a 17-month high

According to Beijing local govt spokesperson Xu Hejian, the latest wave arrived quickly and infected a higher number of patients, resulting in a wider illness trajectory. As a result, prevention is very tough.

Beijing is hunkering down after the current cluster has seen more Covid illnesses than any other time in the previous 17 months, with officials requesting that gatherings and activities be shifted online.

Authorities warned during a press conference late Thursday that companies should postpone all conferences unless they are absolutely necessary and take other efforts to restrict public interaction as much as possible, following the discovery of seven cases in the Chinese capital in one day. They stated that companies and individuals who host gatherings would be held accountable.

In the most recent wave, Beijing has discovered 45 cases, the most since June 2020. In the last five months, the government has battled to suppress its fourth epidemic of the highly infectious delta form. It’s already the broadest flare-up since the virus first appeared in Wuhan, with over 1,000 locally transmitted cases spread over 21 provinces.

No Tolerance

The risks of maintaining the Covid Zero policy are highest in Beijing’s heavily guarded capital. It is now holding a Communist Party plenum with roughly 400 senior political leaders and is planning to host the Winter Olympics in February. Then, in March, lawmakers from all around the country will meet in the city for the annual legislative session of the country.

In China, failing to limit the current outbreak would be a political as well as a medical setback. The country’s leaders have long boasted about their achievement in limiting the virus, which took the lives of more than five million people worldwide but only 5,000 in China, the world’s most populated country.

Since the delta variant’s emergence, no other country has been able to sustain a zero-tolerance policy, with early adopters like Singapore and Australia recently switching to treating it as endemic.

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