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China’s Homegrown Virus Pill Could Offer a Pivot From Covid Zero

  • The highly vaccinated population remains vulnerable to Covid
  • Oral pills crucial for China to pivot away from Covid Zero
A medical worker tests a child for Covid-19 in Wuhan on Nov. 18.
A medical worker tests a child for Covid-19 in Wuhan on Nov. 18.

Source: Getty Images

Where will newly developed Covid pills be needed the most? Rather than pandemic hot spots, it’ll be a place where the virus has yet to gain a sustained foothold: China. 

That’s the take from Tong Youzhi, chief executive officer at Kintor Pharmaceutical Ltd., a Chinese company working on just such a product. After successfully containing the virus with mass testing, surveillance and rigid border curbs, China is now uniquely vulnerable to the novel pathogen and needs access to effective treatments if outbreaks worsen.