China increasingly ham(ster)-fisted as it tries to slay the Covid dragon
The country believes non-human factors are driving its woes, but experts say this is unproven and unlikely
As the goal to stamp out coronavirus infection becomes harder to reach, with more transmissible variants and a world awash with the pathogen, mainland China and Hong Kong are pointing to a wide range of non-human routes as potential evaders of their strict control measures.
The crackdowns, which range from parcels to fish and four-legged pets, come despite experts outside China warning such methods of transmission are unproven and unlikely.
“It seems to be a shorthand for blaming foreign sources for the origin of the outbreak, rather than attributing it to the virus evading the protocols set up to detect infections,” said Nicholas Thomas, an associate professor in health security at City University of Hong Kong. “The reality is that Covid, especially the Delta and Omicron variants, is now present in all the countries on China’s borders. Either via imported cases arriving at airports or seaports, or simply by people crossing China’s borders, the virus is going to get into China.”..