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Therese Raphael and Sam Fazeli

Two Ways to Escape China's Zero Covid Trap

China will require mass distribution of an existing mRNA booster shot along with antivirals to adapt.

Covid testing in Wuhan. China.

Covid testing in Wuhan. China.

Photographer: Future Publishing/Future Publishing

China’s zero-Covid policy initially provided a shield from viral infection and an example of disciplined pandemic management. It’s now become a trap from which Beijing is trying to escape without provoking a major health crisis. But being stuck on a home-grown solution is likely to lead to more problems, as Bloomberg Opinion’s Therese Raphael and Bloomberg Intelligence pharmaceutical analyst Sam Fazeli discuss here.

Therese Raphael: China’s recently tweaked strategy, known as “dynamic clearing,” shifts responsibility to local authorities to contain outbreaks. But it’s not a solution, as we’ve written before. And the situation in Hong Kong, where lockdowns and draconian social restrictions to contain infections has ruined quality of life for many, demonstrates the folly of zero Covid for trying to prevent infection or eliminate the virus.