China’s COVID policy

Is China heading for an uncontrolled COVID infection surge as it relaxes its strict lockdown policy, as is claimed by the Western media here?

SOME FACTS: China is going through its third major wave of infections, with around 4,000 new (symptomatic) cases a day of late.

But relative to its huge population this is nothing like what’s being experienced elsewhere in north Asia.

Crucially, the current number of serious cases (requiring ICU intervention) in China — 108 in total — is tiny; as elsewhere, that’s around 90% below the peak of previous waves. And only 7 people have died from (with?) the disease in China in the last 6 months.

While global fatalities have dropped to around 1,500 a day (again, 90% below the peak), it’s ironic that those countries with the highest vaccination rates are currently reporting the highest fatality levels. China’s vaccination rates, for what it’s worth, are in the middle of the pack.

Since the start of the pandemic overall Covid-19 fatalities relative to population barely register for China — the US has had almost a thousand times more.

And China’s Covid-19 fatality rate, now falling fast, is in line with other large EMs:

So while there are the usual caveats about the quality/reliability of the data, at the moment there’s no indication that, epidemiologically at least, things are out of control. If we start to see infection rates accelerate exponentially (Chinese New Year seems to be an obvious risk) the story might change. But at the moment rates are fairly steady.

14 thoughts on “China’s COVID policy

  1. The point is, that for the vast majority of people, more than 98%, C19 is NOT dangerous, TB and other infectious diseases, that KILL present a far greater danger to people, especially to the poor. Zero Covid? It’s a fantasy, viruses are EVERYWHERE and have been, probably for billions of years. The idea that lockdowns, masks etc stop the spread of viruses is ridiculous!

    1. Of course lockdown and masks prevent virus spread. The only consideration is how much of either is economically or psychologically acceptable. We are tribal animals that like to interact with each other. It’s how evolution has wired us.

    2. For the vast majority of people, polio isn’t dangerous, so does that mean we oppose polio vaccines? Of course not, but Barovsky and others have no problem using the same lack of logic to oppose Covid vaccination.

      Pseudo- medical statisticians tellus how much more dangerous tuberculosis is. No kidding. Except the difference is there widespread therapies for tuberculosis to manage and reverse the disease OUTSIDE of hospital settings. And…. transmission of the disease is not as compacted in time as Covid; the rate of transmission is much different. More than a mere technicality.

      In 2020 Covid 19 in the US produced a crude fatality rate approximately 16X greater than that of influenza and pneumonia combined . Do we then dismiss influenza and pneumonia as not being dangerous to the overwhelming percentage of the population and suspend inoculations and other control measures? Of course not.

      Two percent sounds negligible except when you put it in the context of being 2% of 350,000,000, then it’s 7 million people. For China the heightened risk is to 25 million people, enough to overwhelm all healthcare facilities. It’s not just rate, and it’s not just size. It’s the size AT the rate.

      Two percent is not insignificant, particularly to those who make up the 2 percent. Way past time to call a halt to this ignorant and misleading use of statistical derivatives.

    3. Regarding China’s Zero Covid 19 policy, I think one has to bear in mind that since China’s revolution, the United States has maintained military pressure on China–even during the “peaceful” decades of economic cooperation, for example: the occupation and militarization of Taiwan; dozens of military bases (many housing nuclear weapons) in Japan, South Korea, Hawaii, the Phillipines, Thailand, Indonesia and small, militarized islands in the Pacific. But more to the point: the US has maintained hundreds of biological war labs around the world, perhaps the first Asian one in nuked, occupied, Japan, which had used biological weapons in its war on China. It’s no coincidence that the pathogens that the US dropped on “bombed back to the stone age” North Korea were similar to those created by Japanese scientists.

      It would be more than foolish for the Chinese (or Cubans for that matter) to not take precautions against the possible or actual use of weaponized versions (which do exist) of the covid virus by the United States–a demented hegemon that, since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has publicly…err…bombastically arrogated to itself the right of first use of nuclear bombs and or any other weapon of mass destruction against anyone, anywhere it pleases.

      The list is a long one extending in time and place from Korea, through Vietnam and Laos to Ukraine, where cluster bombs, like the millions dropped, and some still exploding exploding in Laos, are employed by US recruited fascists against the civilian populations of the Donbas.

  2. “it’s ironic that those countries with the highest vaccination rates are currently reporting the highest fatality levels. ” Is the penny finally starting to drop for the “Revolutionary Left” regarding the so-called pandemic? I hope so.

  3. Not only China’s data are reliable, they’re the only one that provide an exact number of infected and, of those, how many are asymptomatic.

    Because of that, we know that, of the 4,000 infected, more than 3,000 are asymptomatic. Hence the low rates of deaths and ICU occupation. A centralized system has its perks.

  4. The key point is found in Xi’s report to the recent Congress where he re-commits the Party to only a BASIC public medical service providing scope for his entrepreneurial mates in the private sector to cherry pick the more profitable medical services. Well if you have only a basic public medical system you are more dependent on lockdowns.

      1. VK there are two kinds of analysts, the first follows the line, the second reads between the lines. I leave it up to you decide which one is right. Its not only what Xi said, its what he didn’t say, ie who would benefit from a basic medical service and I am not talking about ordinary Chinese.

  5. Not even more than five comments so far and already two of them either deny that the pandemic exists or that SARS-CoV-2 is a dangerous virus. One can read the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary online, for both claims. But even the author of this blog seems to wonder — hopefully out of honest ignorance — if the recent covid deaths are really a result of covid, when he writes, “And only 7 people have died from (with?) the disease in China…”. This echoes the infamous from-covid-or-with-covid? debate that’s been around since early 2020, and that debate has also been long settled. (Yes, people are dying FROM covid; it’s a legitimate and serious threat to humanity.) It’s also a clever ruse that both the Trump and Biden administrations have used to unleash their mass infection & death campaigns on the U.S. public and hide the evidence. (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/02/09/bide-f09.html)

    It seems that the old SARS-CoV-2 misconceptions (it’s fake, it’s not a big deal, covid is just a cold, etc.) are still very much alive in the minds of people, which is not a good sign at all.

  6. Western propaganda’s 180 from hysterically decrying China’s “insane lockdowns” to bemoaning the public health consequences of China’s reopening has provided much needed comic relief but the situation is indeed grim. In a matter of days, with no timetable or serious preparation, the CPC has decided to stop worrying and love the virus, thus joining the “civilized world.”

    The consequences of such a flippant decision will be horrible, make no mistake. China’s official COVID data has so far been extremely reliable due to how seriously the country took the pandemic. But now that they’ve embraced laying flat, any numbers they release will be a product of poor data collection and ass-covering. It will be even worse than the west, due to the lesser degree of transparency in China. China will see at least a million deaths in the coming year and I very much doubt that will show up in the official data.

    The best you can say about China’s pandemic response at this point is “well, they had a good run!”

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