World Health Organization (W.H.O.) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday repeated his organization’s judgment that China’s strategy of controlling the Wuhan coronavirus with harsh lockdowns is “not sustainable.”
“We know the virus better and we have better tools, including vaccines, so that’s why the handling of the virus should actually be different from what we used to do at the start of the pandemic,” Tedros said, alluding to China’s alleged ability to control the original Wuhan coronavirus pandemic with strict citywide lockdowns.
The W.H.O. director said his organization has advised Beijing that the latest mutations of Chinese coronavirus are considerably different from the original strain, so different methods might be advisable to control new outbreaks but said that “regarding their choice of policies, it is up to every country to make that choice.”
Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the W.H.O. Health Emergencies Program, was more bluntly critical of China’s lockdown approach, which has inflicted horrific humanitarian and economic damage on cities such as Shanghai.
“A suppression-only strategy is not a sustainable way to exit the pandemic for any country,” Ryan said.
W.H.O. first labeled China’s lockdown policy “unsustainable” last week, a critique angrily dismissed as “irresponsible” by the Chinese Communist Party. China then ordered its massive censorship apparatus to delete posts quoting W.H.O. officials and photos of Tedros on Chinese social media.
Chinese officials on Wednesday insisted they are making progress against the presumed less lethal omicron variant in locked-down Shanghai, which will supposedly “resume normalcy in June” after some ten weeks of quarantine. The Chinese government responded to growing complaints about miserable living conditions in Shanghai by censoring the complaints.