Highlights

  • China defends zero-Covid policy
  • Massive protests against China's Covid policy
  • China reported nearly 40,000 cases on Monday

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China defends zero-Covid policy in the face of massive protests

China's National Health Commission said 39,452 new cases were reported on Monday, including 36,304 local asymptomatic cases, as authorities scrambled to contain the fresh surge in infections.

China on Monday dismissed concerns over its controversial zero-Covid policy in the face of unprecedented demonstrations, which have spread to Beijing even as it reported close to 40,000 coronavirus cases and authorities scrambled to contain the fresh surge in infections and protests against the Xi Jinping regime.

The protests, which came nearly a month after President Xi was elected as the ruling party's top leader for a third consecutive term, have spread to Shanghai, Beijing and many parts of the country in the last few days against the stringent policy under which cities and localities are kept under prolonged lockdowns and isolations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also defended the arrest of a BBC journalist covering the demonstrations in Shanghai, maintaining that the scribe did not present his media credentials.

"What you mentioned does not reflect what has happened," Zhao told a media briefing when asked, given the widespread display of anger and frustration on zero-Covid policy across the country. "China has been following the dynamic zero-Covid policy and has been making adjustments based on realities on the ground," Zhao said.

He said so far China issued nine versions of pandemic protocols and recently released 20 measures to contain the outbreak.

"We believe that with the leadership of the CPC and the support of the Chinese people, our fight against Covid-19 will be successful," Zhao said.

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To another question on protests at home and abroad calling for an end to zero-Covid policy with some calling for Xi to step down, Zhao said, "I just answered your question and I am not aware of what you mentioned." Under the policy, those who tested positive along with those who came in contact with them were taken away to mass covid treatment centers which have caused public resentment.

China's National Health Commission said 39,452 new cases were reported on Monday, including 36,304 local asymptomatic cases, as authorities scrambled to contain the fresh surge in infections.

For the fifth consecutive day, China has reported close to 4,000 cases in Beijing.

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