China is currently battling its biggest COVID-19 wave since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling that the coronavirus outbreak is far from over.
The news: China reported 1,100 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. That’s a higher case number in China, which has focused on limiting the spread of the coronavirus, CNN reports.
- The daily case number was the highest since the virus started to spread in Wuhan — where researchers documented the first case in late 2019 — at the beginning of the pandemic.
Why it matters: China has been focused on a “zero COVID” policy since the pandemic began.
- The country has worked hard to implement lockdowns, restrictions and containment measures to keep the virus from spreading rapidly as it has done across the world, according to Nature.
- China has implemented “strict social distancing, mass testing, lockdowns and largely closed borders” which “have been effective at preventing the coronavirus from overwhelming the hospital system,” The Washington Post reports.
Flashback: Hong Kong recently had the highest COVID-19 death rate in the developed world, too, despite holding a zero-COVID strategy, as I reported for the Deseret News.
What’s next: Zeng Guang, the chief epidemiologist at China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote on the Chinese social media app Weibo that China is unlikely to change the zero-COVID strategy now because there’s a surge of cases and new variants could emerge, per CNN.
- “There is no need to open the door at the peak of the global epidemic,” Zeng said.