There are two main facts are behind China's Zero COVID Policy. The first fact is that COVID-19 is still a deadly virus and is no way close to the common flu in that regard. Second, the struggle may differ according to the conditions of each nation. China in particular, which does not define human lives in numbers and percentages, has to pay attention to its population distribution and the capabilities of its healthcare institutions.
The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still affects China, just as in the rest of the world. According to the National Health Commission of China, 657 symptomatic and 3,180 non-symptomatic cases were recorded on November 7th alone. With that increase, the number of cases across China exceeded 6 thousand in total. The COVID-19 pandemic is projected to spread further, not only in China but also around the rest of the world in the near future. In October, the World Health Organization (WHO) attempted to draw more attention to the dangers of the COVID-19 and influenza pandemic. While this campaign across Europe was called "Protect yourself from COVID-19 and the Influenza. Prepare, prevent and protect", the World Health Organization warned that a possible pandemic would significantly increase the burden on national healthcare systems.
And despite the warnings of the World Health Organization, the United States and some other Western countries continue to harshly criticize China's policy of eliminating COVID-19. It seems quite ironic that the United States, one of the least successful countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, "takes on to teach China how to fight against COVID". According to the latest data, COVID-19-related deaths in the USA with a population of 334 million, have reached 1.098 million, while China had 5,226 deaths, a country with a population of 1.448 billion. And in terms of the number of cases, the USA comes out first with 99.647 million, while China had 264,123 COVID cases in total.
According to a report published on June 2022 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 40 percent of adults in the US have reported having COVID-19 in the past, while 19 percent still have the "long-term COVID-19 effects" to this day.
Human Lives Cannot Be Put Into Numbers
If China had stopped fighting COVID-19 as the US media "suggested", this would most likely have created a tragic picture. According to a projection published by the Shanghai Fudan University in its journal called Nature in last May, more than 5 million people could have been hospitalized and more than 1.5 million people could face death if the Chinese authorities slackened on pandemic measures. The research projects that a total of 112 million people could be in contact with the virus in such a scenario.
While the great losses are tolerable for Western countries, this is far from what is acceptable to China. At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a principle was adopted: "Human health is among the measures for a prosperous nation and a strong state".
Most of the countries, unlike China, have adopted a policy of herd immunity to keep their economies alive. However, most of these countries not only lost a large number of their citizens, there is also now an economic collapse. China, on the other hand, recorded 8.1 percent growth in 2021 coming up first on the global list.
Sociological And Medical Factors Do Make A Difference
China, which defines human health as a measure of political success, has leaned towards a "Zero COVID" policy to minimize COVID deaths. This policy was designed against COVID-19, a global threat, specifically to China's own conditions. The conditions that determine China's specific conditions include urbanization, the age distribution of the population, and the healthcare capacity. For instance, unlike many other countries, more than 267 million citizens over 65 live in China, while the restraints in its healthcare capacities are significant.
According to information from Chinese healthcare sources, there are around 4.37 intensive care units per 100 thousand people in 2021 in China, while this figure stood at 33.9 for Germany in 2017 and 25.8 for the US in 2018. Similarly, China still lags behind countries such as Norway and Switzerland, despite its huge population of doctors, nurses, and health workers, which are all indispensable elements of the healthcare ecosystem. In China, there are 1.64 practitioners and 2.52 nurses per one thousand people. Therefore, the most effective method of fighting the pandemic for China would be to reduce the contagiousness of COVID-19.
This Is Still Further From The Influenza
China's "zero COVID" policy is based on scientific facts as well as the country's specific needs. The most important discovery found by the Chinese health authorities in this context is that, contrary to popular belief, COVID-19 does not turn into a mild illness such as the common flu and still continues to be dangerous to this day. The Chinese Center for Pandemic Prevention and Protection points out the two main differences. The first among them is immunity. While the immunity that the human body gains after the common flu can last up to a year, the immunity against COVID-19 lasts between 3 to 6 months. The second is that the influenza variation cycle is a stable one, while COVID-19 can mutate rapidly and unpredictably.
In short, the fight against COVID-19 in China, unlike in the United States is not led by political moves, upcoming election campaigns, or not the profits of large corporations nor is it based on what other countries dictate to them, but by science and the actual needs of the people.