By Fareeza Haniff in Beijing
Despite the majority of the world returning to normalcy two years after the deadly Coronavirus hit, China continues to maintain strict measures and regulations and the authorities believe that its ‘Zero COVID’ policy has led to low infection and death rates and a stable economy.
Sun Yeli, a spokesperson for the ruling Communist Party told reporters at a press conference in Beijing on Saturday that even though China longs for the early end of the virus, it is still lingering.
He said the government will continue to implement measures to protect people, especially the large elderly population.
“China has a big population, including a huge elderly population. Development is uneven among regions and medical resources are insufficient.
“The dynamic ‘Zero COVID’ policy has enabled us to keep infection and mortality rates at a very low level,” Yeli said ahead of the party’s 20th National Congress slated for Sunday where President Xi Jinping is expected to be re-elected to serve a third five-year term.
China still continues to test its 1.4 billion people on a daily basis and implement strict lockdowns in major cities, resulting in a hard blow to its economy.
“China has put people and people’s lives front and center. We gave top priority to people’s health and safety,” the party spokesperson reiterated.
He lamented that the government’s policy is a “science-based approach” with a rapid response and targeted measures to bring the COVID situation under control “with minimum costs for the society in the shortest possible time while protecting people’s life and health and minimizing the impact on the economy and people’s normal life to the best of our ability.”
“All things considered, China’s COVID response measures are the most cost-effective and have worked the best for our country,” Yeli contended.
He said the government continues to constantly improve its response measures as the situation evolves.
Since 2020, China has reported 5,226 COVID-19 fatalities among its population but Yeli said there is “light ahead and per perseverance is victory.”