The zero Covid policy advocated at the highest level of power in China to try to fight the pandemic “is not sustainable”, WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, claiming to have discussed it with Chinese experts.

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“When we talk about a zero Covid strategy, we don’t think it’s sustainable, considering the behavior of the virus at the moment and the one we expect in the future (…) moving to a different strategy is very important he said at a World Health Organization press briefing in Geneva.

“As Dr. Tedros said, you have to have this ability to adapt to the circumstances, to what you see in the data (…) and he talked about it in detail with the Chinese colleagues”, added its director of emergency situations, Michael Ryan. He recalled that for a time this strategy allowed China to post a very small number of deaths compared to its population.

“It’s something that China wants to protect,” acknowledged Dr. Ryan.

Faced with the rise in the death toll since February-March, it makes sense for the government to react, noted Michael Ryan, “but all these actions, as we have repeated from the start, must be taken with respect for individuals and communities. human rights”.

Late last week, China again said it would continue with its zero Covid, ‘major trump’ strategy against the coronavirus, despite growing frustration in Shanghai where confined residents are now protesting by banging their pans on windows .

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Largely spared for two years, the Asian giant is facing its worst epidemic outbreak since the spring of 2020 and continues to apply the same policy even as the virus has mutated and has become much more contagious than the original strain detected in China at the end of 2019.

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