China’s zero-Covid policy will not work, says scientist who warned of Omicron

Virologist Tulio de Oliveira, who warned the world about the Omicron variant, has now said that China’s “zero-Covid” policy will not work against the new variant. First detected in late November, the Omicron is spreading at a very fast pace. As a result, the Chinese authorities have ordered a strict lockdown as millions were asked to stay home after Xi’an city reported 52 new Covid cases.

Taking to his Twitter, Oliveira wrote, “China will have great difficulty with Omicron and zero covid policy. They may need to join the rest of the world with mitigation strategies.”


He further wrote that China should not punish its public health officials or citizens or foreigns because of a more transmissible variant. 

Also read | Xi’an lockdown: Chinese city reports community transmission, hemorrhagic fever

This comes after China’s disciplinary body said that dozens of officials were punished in Xi’an over a virus outbreak. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said that 26 Communist Party officials had been punished for “insufficient rigour in preventing and controlling the outbreak”. Chinese officials who are believed to have failed in controlling the outbreak are regularly sacked or reprimanded. 

As per the statement, the outbreak in Xi’an can be attributed to the negligent attitude of the officials. 

In October, a party secretary in Inner Mongolia was sacked after his area was hit by multiple cases. Also, the head of Zhengzhou city’s health commission was sacked in August after several cases were recorded.

China, this year, has reported one death due to the virus amid tough measures as the Xi regime continues to follow the “zero-Covid” strategy ahead of the Winter Olympics. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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