China’s zero-Covid policy not going to work; everyone has right to protest peacefully: US

Washington: The White House said on Monday that China’s zero-Covid policy is unlikely to work and reaffirmed that everyone around the world has the right to protest peacefully, amidst unprecedented demonstrations in the Communist nation over its stringent policy.

“We’ve said that zero-COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here in the United States. And as we’ve said, we think it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero-COVID strategy,” a spokesperson of the White House National Security Council told PTI.

The spokesperson’s comment comes amidst protests from various parts of China against the strict enforcement of its zero-Covid policy, under which authorities block apartment buildings or even cordon off a neighbourhood once a resident tests positive, causing great inconvenience to the people.

“For us, we are focused on what works and that means using the public health tools like: continuing to enhance vaccination rates and making testing and treatment easily accessible,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ve long said everyone has the right to peacefully protest, here in the United States and around the world. This includes the PRC (People’s Republic of China),” the spokesperson added.

During the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the heads of both financial institutions attributed the zero-Covid policy to China’s poor economic situation.

In an interview with Bloomberg last week, IMF’s first deputy managing director Gita Gopinath said that China has risked its economy due to the zero-COVID policy.

“Going forward, a further recalibration of the COVID strategy should be well prepared and include boosting the pace of vaccinations and maintaining it at a high level to ensure that protection is preserved,” she said.

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