Xi stands by zero-COVID approach despite public anger: ‘Persistence is victory’

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country will stick to its zero-COVID-19 approach despite the backlash it has received from sweeping lockdowns in its industrial hub Shanghai.

China has been aiming to have no COVID-19 cases by completely shutting down areas when even a small number of cases are detected, even as most countries employ strategies to live with the virus.

“Persistence is victory. It is necessary to adhere to the people first and life first,” Xi said, according to state media outlet Xinhua News Agency.

“It is necessary to overcome paralyzing thoughts, war weariness, fluke mentality, and slack mentality, improve scientific and precise prevention and control skills, improve various emergency plans, strictly implement normalized prevention and control measures, and minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development in view of the new characteristics of virus mutation,” he added.

The comments come as millions in Shanghai were locked in their homes for weeks due to COVID-19, with only some allowed out on Tuesday.

However, those who were allowed outside were restricted to their own neighborhoods.

China has been censoring complaints from citizens in the city who have been running out of food during the lockdowns.

China was reporting a seven-day average of nearly 25,000 cases of COVID-19 nationwide as of Wednesday, after going months with hundreds or fewer cases per day.

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