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China doubles down on “zero-COVID” strategy

Chinese President Xi Jinping touted his country’s “zero-COVID” strategy at the just concluded Communist Party’s National Congress, dashing any hopes that China’s rigid regime of quarantines, mass testing, and lockdowns may soon come to an end.

The strategy has crimped the economy, and public health experts say the obstacles to lifting it are now rising: Unlike much of the rest of the world, China has not begun second booster doses, which means protection is waning. And Chinese health authorities say that zero-COVID is still needed to protect the 10% of those over age 60 still not fully vaccinated. Xi’s policy is likely to continue, as the congress has given him an unprecedented third 5-year term.

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