This via a Bloomberg report (may be gated)
According to the government, “Covid zero” is no longer China’s policy goal. Rather, it’s aiming for “dynamic clearing,” which relies on local governments to stamp out local outbreaks. Here’s the wording from Liang Wannian, the head of the government’s Covid expert panel, at a mid-December press conference held by the National Health Commission and endorsed by the State Council, China’s supreme governing body:
- We do not yet have the ability to prevent local cases from appearing, but we have the ability and confidence to quickly put an end to an epidemic when a local case is found, so this is what we want to emphasize on. It is not the pursuit of “zero infection”, but the pursuit of eliminating the epidemic as soon as possible.
This is changing words around. There is no substantive change in policy, the goal is to stamp out outbreaks as soon as possible after they are detected. As it has been since the beginning of the pandemic in China. Hence why we continue to see strict local lockdowns.
China’s Beijing Olympics begin on February 4. Maybe when these are finished (February 20) there will be a relaxation. Maybe. But not before.