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Beijing harsh border measures against students, travellers ‘vindicated’

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(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on November 15, 2021 shows US President Joe Biden during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021 and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Athens on November 11, 2019 - From Taiwan to Covid and the South China Sea, here are some of the flashpoint issues that US President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping may discuss during their virtual summit. (Photo by Paul ELLIS and Aris MESSINIS / various sources / AFP)

Domestic state media is praising China border policies, the world’s longest and toughest COVID-19-induced travel curbs on students and travellers, as other countries scramble to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

“Major Western countries have cut air links with countries such as South Africa, showing that these countries are frightened. Establishing an immune shield based on the vaccine alone has actually proved to be a risky route, and can even be said to have failed to a large extent,” wrote an editorial on Global Times, a state-run nationalist tabloid, as reported by CNN.

The editorial branded China “a true impregnable fortress against the spread of the virus in the world today.” “China’s dynamic zero-case route has been criticised in the West in many ways. However, if the Omicron variant launches a new wave of attack, it is China that will be best able to block its invasion.”

Domestic state media is praising China border policies, branding it “a true impregnable fortress against the spread of the virus.” Source: Noel Celis/AFP

China border policies: The ‘magic weapon’ against COVID-19

First reported to the World Health Organisation in South Africa less than a week ago, the new strain has rapidly spread everywhere from Africa to the Pacific, and from Europe to Canada, causing dozens of countries to announce travel restrictions.

The severity of the economic impact will depend on how dangerous the variant proves to be, and how well existing vaccinations stand up to it. That has meant that even with the most favourable scenarios in mind, economists are already revising their 2022 forecasts downwards.

The International Monetary Fund, which expects growth of 4.9% for the next year, has been insisting for months that the coronavirus and its variants remain the main threat.

On Sunday, China’s chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wu Zunyou called China’s zero-tolerance containment policy a “magic weapon” to control the pandemic. “We must stick to it, at least through this winter and next spring,” he said.

China risks a daily infection count of at least 637,155, a CDC study found, if they open up like the UK, US, and European countries.

“The estimates revealed the real possibility of a colossal outbreak which would almost certainly induce an unaffordable burden on the medical system,” the report said.
“Our findings have raised a clear warning that, for the time being, we are not ready to embrace ‘open-up’ strategies resting solely on the hypothesis of herd immunity induced by vaccination advocated by certain western countries.”
It concluded, “more efficient vaccinations or more specific treatment, preferably the combination of both, are needed before entry-exit quarantine measures and other Covid-19 response strategies in China can be safely lifted.”

Additional reporting by AFP