WHO chief hits out at China’s zero Covid policy: ‘It’s not sustainable’

The policy has placed hundreds of millions of people across large parts of the country under movement restrictions

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The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) director-general has hit out at China’s zero Covid policy.

The policy has placed hundreds of millions of people across large parts of the country under movement restrictions in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

The most dramatic measures are in Shanghai, who are now in their sixth week of a strict lockdown.

Despite officials saying that half the city had now achieved “zero Covid” status, they added that restrictions would remain in place.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

But WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has slammed the policy, urging for China to shift its strategy.

He said: “As we all know, the virus is evolving, changing its behaviours, becoming more transmissible.

“With that changing behaviour, changing your measures will be very important.

“When we talk about the zero-Covid strategy, we don't think it's sustainable.

“Considering the behaviour of the virus I think a shift (in China's strategy) will be very important."

China's foreign ministry has since hit back at the WHO’s comments, urging Mr Ghebreyesus to avoid making "irresponsible" remarks.

Speaking at a regular news conference in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian defended China's measures on fighting the pandemic.

He said China hoped the WHO director-general would view China's Covid policies objectively.