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China under pressure, chaos in Hong Kong

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While the whole world is watching with dread the Russian military invasion in Ukraine, the coronavirus and especially its variant Omicron continue to circulate throughout China. Chinese health authorities on Monday (March 7) reported the highest number of daily cases of Covid-19 infections since the virus emerged in Wuhan in late 2019.

500 infections in China, 280,000 in Hong Kong since the end of December

Thus, according to official figures from the Chinese Health Commission, more than 500 infections have been recorded across the whole of mainland China, not counting the 280,000 contaminations in Hong Kong since the end of December 2021. In addition, official statistics do not reveal all infections because many provinces or provincial capitals do not report their figures for fear of being stigmatized. From a reliable source, there would be dozens of cases in Wuhan itself which are not published in the official summary tables.

→ REREAD. In Hong Kong, China takes the health crisis in hand

Faced with this upsurge, which is quite relative compared to the figures in Europe, China is maintaining its “zero Covid” policy. Faced with the appearance of the Omicron variant at the end of December 2021, China typically reacts to epidemic outbreaks with local confinements (buildings, stores, campuses, neighborhoods, districts, districts), mass tests and control of its population by the intermediary of telephone tracing applications.

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The Chinese accept the “zero Covid” policy defended by the official speech

Stunning images of thousands of Chinese people queuing to get tested in Shenzhen in Guangdong province or Hangzhou in Zhejiang regularly circulate on social media. For months, millions of Chinese have had to submit to its health restrictions at the slightest contamination alert. What in the West would have provoked fierce criticism from the media and protests from the population does not trigger any rebellion in China.

The virus is scary and the Chinese government constantly explains that this is the best way to control it. As proof, the Chinese media daily broadcast much higher figures for contamination in Europe or the United States. A top Chinese scientist did say last week that the country should seek to live with the virus and should abandon its ‘zero Covid’ strategy. ” in the near future “. But the spokesman for the National People’s Congress immediately dismissed the idea. “The way followed is correct and the results are good, he assured. Any measure of prevention and control will have some cost, but compared to protecting people’s life and health, these costs are worth it. »

In Hong Kong, more than 100 deaths per day since the beginning of March, for 7.5 million inhabitants

The spike comes as the outbreak spirals out of control across the border in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) in southern China, where hospitals are overflowing with patients and the local people are robbing supermarkets in panic, fearing an impending general lockdown.

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→ ANALYSIS. Hong Kong overwhelmed by the Omicron variant and the “zero Covid” policy

The numbers in Hong Kong are exploding. There have been nearly 300,000 contaminations with the Omicron variant since December (12,000 only between January 2020 and December 2021) and more than a hundred deaths every day since 1er March, for a population of only 7.5 million. More than 100,000 people have fled Hong Kong overseas over the past month.

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