According to the Daily Mail, the scientist who warned the world about the Omicron Covid-19 variant has told China that its ‘Zero Covid’ police will not work against the super-transmissible mutant strain.
Because of 250 cases, the 13 million residents of the Chinese city of Xian were ordered to remain at home on Thursday.
It means that each household may only send one member outside to shop for necessities once every two days.
Tulio de Oliveira, director of South Africa’s Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI), believes the measures will fail.
“China will have great difficulty with Omicron and zero covid policy,” he wrote on Twitter.
“They may need to join the rest of the world with mitigation strategies. China should not punish its public health officials or citizens or foreigners because a more transmissible variant.”
The Chinese outbreak’s variant is unknown, but Omicron is thought to be the most likely, according to the report.
It comes after dozens of Chinese Communist officials were punished for failing to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in Xian.
On Friday, China’s disciplinary body announced the officials’ punishments, the latest state reprimands under Beijing’s strict zero Covid policy.
China, where the Covid-19 was first discovered in late 2019, is on high alert for new cases as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in the capital Beijing in February, and as the more infectious variant Omicron spreads rapidly around the world.
According to the report, the world’s most populous country claims to have reduced cases to a bare minimum thanks to its zero Covid strategy of tight border restrictions, lengthy quarantines, and quickly implemented, targeted lockdowns.