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Hong Kong Intelligence Report #94 港毒問題:將全中國拖入與病毒共存的官商勾結

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Open-source intelligence (OSINT)

FILE PHOTO: Post-COVID © Envato

IMPORTANT 【重要】


The flywheel of the disintegration of the country was already spinning at the first cosmic speed. And it's all over...


- Medvedev

LINK


It’s regrettable to see China, the last zero-Covid holdout in a world rattled by a once-in-a-century pandemic, capitulate to pressure to abandon its successful policies.


- Blankenship

LINK


Georgetown’s Gostin said that through conversations with top epidemiologists in Hong Kong who advise Beijing on its COVID strategy, he believes that Xi understands that China needs to end its zero-COVID policy.


- Voice of America

LINK


因為一旦放開,新冠肺炎就會被視作「風土病」,新冠病毒已經清零不了。現在來看,香港可以說是跟病毒共存


- 許樹昌

LINK


國泰航空主席賀以禮稱:我們(國泰)更希望的是能夠取消所有防疫政策

LINK


美國國家情報總監海恩斯表示,國家主席習近平不願意接受西方新冠疫苗。海恩斯在一個國防論壇上表示,儘管新冠病毒帶來社會和經濟影響,但習近平仍然不願意接受西方較好的疫苗,仍然依賴中國疫苗,但中國疫苗在應對Omicron變種病毒的效用可能未必顯著。


《路透社》引述白宮官員指,不預期中國會於近期對西方新冠疫苗開綠燈,形容是涉及民族自豪問題。

LINK


資本利益至上的「與病毒共存」:資本叫撤就撤防疫措施


斷送國策,甚至將全中國拖入與病毒共存是自私自利的香港內外資本,帝國主義外國政府和港府官商勾結的結局。從2022年9月26日香港港毒勢力(上層集團)成功撤掉入境隔離期(「外防輸入」瓦解)以來,趁內地進行糾偏/優化防疫措施的兩次重大動作(國務院聯防聯控機制發布會:11月11日 LINK 和12月8日 LINK),位於香港的內外資本及其媒體(實為資本的壓力團體/廣告公司/資方電視/資方日報)大抽水,一邊炒股(12月13日廢掉安心出行和入境黃碼期是為了本週內恢復恆指20000點,資本至上,不過上層集團可以用以炒股的「放寬」材料越來越少了),一邊大力推舉撤除所有防疫措施,資本叫撤就撤,造成了在疫情仍嚴峻之際,市民的正常價值觀的混亂。而它們完全漠視每日死難者,正在繼續猛推撤除維護人民健康生命的防疫措施。此次,示威者的比重較輕,推動中港反清零浪潮的主要推手是美國政府/美國媒體手裏有把握的政府疫情專家顧問,衛生官僚,媒體和商會等。與此同時,陽奉陰違,早就攜手並肩斷送國策(動態清零)的港府和所謂建制派,大肆剝削國歌播錯/標錯以及Google香港國歌搜尋不置頂等毫無影響資本的「愛國騷」來掩飾他們無間道的叛變本色。左右中共未來管治和威信的防疫措施的趨勢和變遷照射了本港官僚,立法會議員,商會,學者,媒體和壓力團體(社團)的虛偽,政治不可靠性。


With-COVID: Withdrawing Precautionary Measures When Capital Demands


The decision to sabotage the national policy and even drag the whole China into With-COVID is the result of collusion between self-serving capital inside and outside Hong Kong, imperialist foreign governments, and the Hong Kong government itself.

Since September 26, 2022, when the Hong Kong capitalists (the upper echelon) successfully removed the quarantine period for entry into Hong Kong ("prevent the spread of the coronavirus from both within and without of a city (or an area)" collapsed), two major moves were made to correct/optimize epidemic prevention measures on the Mainland, then the internal and external capital and its media (actually capital pressure groups/advertising companies/capital TV/capital daily) located in Hong Kong exploited the opportunities, while speculating in stocks (December 13 abolished LeaveHomeSafe application and entry yellow health code period is to restore the HSI 20,000 points within this week, ‘capital first’, but materials that the upper group can be used to speculate in the "relaxation of anti-COVID measures" news are now less and less, while vigorously pushing for the removal of all epidemic prevention measures, capital called for the full withdrawal of the prevention measures, resulting in the confusion of the normal values of the public at a time when the epidemic is still serious. They are completely ignoring the daily victims and are continuing to push for the removal of all epidemic prevention measures that protect people's health and lives. This time, the protesters are less represented and the main drivers of the anti-zero-COVID wave in China and Hong Kong are the US government/US media's well-connected government epidemic advisors, health bureaucrats, media and chambers of commerce. At the same time, the Hong Kong government and the so-called pro-establishment faction, who have been working together for a long time to cut off the national policy (dynamic zero-COVID), have been exploiting the misplaying/mislabeling of the national anthem and the non-topping of the Google search of Hong Kong's national anthem as a "patriotic show" to cover up their treachery. The trend and change of the preventive measures that will shape the future governance and prestige of the Chinese Communist Party illuminate the hypocrisy and political unreliability of Hong Kong bureaucrats, legislators, chambers of commerce, academics, media and pressure groups (societies) in general.


正在拆毀國策的本港叛徒們最需要愛國騷來掩飾其本色


有幾個重點:


1. 即使內地官方否認「放寬」,港媒及整個香港上層集團也將三十條優化措施描述成放寬/放開。譬如,台灣國民黨/中國時報的夥伴東方日報(台方日報/資方日報)以內地三十條優化措施(LINK)當作逼迫港府全撤防疫措施的藉口(港府「倣效」內地 LINK),但早已走上與病毒共存的香港與已長期實現動態清零狀態的內地和澳門都無法相提並論。其基數和基礎都不同,相差甚遠。香港仍是全中國疫情最嚴峻的特別地方城市。全球230個疫情嚴峻國家地區排名上,香港穩定居第44位;優秀的澳門居224位;內地則居98位 LINK。在長期動態清零下,內地和澳門都有真放寬/調整/優化糾偏的空間,但積極走與病毒共存的重災區香港所做的「放寬」只會是放棄抗疫。放寬防疫措施絕不叫做抗疫

2. 港媒和外媒頻繁發放未經證實消息(在疫情嚴峻下,快會有中港免檢疫通關 LINK;內地放棄了動態清零 LINK,動態清零崩潰了云云 LINK,是為了先製造和準備有利於資本自私自利的輿論,錯誤的期待和社會氣圍,並且逼迫當權者放棄現有的,甚至有效的政策措施或方便無間道的兩面人做出相應的舉措。香港媒體先塑造只合乎資本至上的輿論氣圍再逼迫當局政策回應它。其中不顧的是疫情嚴峻的事實以及每日疫情死難者。資本至上,這是極不負責任的媒體商業操縱。譬如,無恥老鼠的「愛國愛港」港媒不敢直接以作者實名發表反國策的主張,而甚至把美國政府掌握的本港政府疫情專家顧問團隊屬下的大學助教也找來大肆宣傳全撤防疫措施的資本主張LINK)。如此,香港媒體每日都發放損害國策和公共衛生的港毒。

3. 內地和澳門是否走上了優化動態清零防疫措施後可望最終抵達的真復常還是在疫情持續下的與病毒共存?這點尚未確定。香港媒體和外媒塑造的形象是「內地/澳門因應白紙運動而改採與病毒共存,動態清零政策結束」。所以內地和澳門都很快跟上疫情重災區的香港的「與病毒共存」? 這也還不確定。確定的是,香港上層集團的政治本色總是集中體現在國策與資本相抵觸的議題上面,它們以兩面人的手段陽奉陰違,搞言行不一時,為了掩飾其政治本色需要同時上演一系列剝削同一資本安排的反派角色,「反對派」,「黎智英」,「港獨」和「示威者」等的愛國騷。後者都只不過是本港貪婪內外資本的犧牲品和永遠的炮灰。反修例事件和香港違抗動態清零政策都是基於資本利益的。前者主要出於逃稅者被移送到內地的恐懼;後者是為了西方疫苗公司全面開放內地市場的作戰/浪潮。已熄滅的白紙本身絕不是主要的手段,而國安單位不得管制的疫情專家顧問們和衛生官僚才是從內部瓦解動態清零的主力。

4. 這一切反清零浪潮背後有西方疫苗公司的強大利益。不過,這方面,內地與德國肖爾茨11月4日起訪華期間敲定了雙方僑民在各自當地可以接種自己國家生產的疫苗,譬如德國僑民在華可以接種BioNTech的mRNA疫苗(香港,澳門和台灣都使用,但只有內地沒有全面開放)。此外,從2022年12月13日國務院聯防聯控機制發布會及港府廢掉安全出行和黃碼當日起早已在華展開業務的輝瑞網上大力出售了口服新冠治療藥Paxlovid。不少內地網民質疑躺平派與西方疫苗銷情之間的關係是合情合理的。重點是不但是輝瑞或美國國家情報總監(NDI),都並無要求所謂疫苗通行證之類的政策,而要與病毒共存而已。換言之,只要實現與病毒共存的政策和社會狀態,為西方疫苗公司全面打開市場以及獲得暴利於內地市場的目的就會是順理成章,順水推舟的。因此,在與病毒共存的香港,高疫苗接種率(第一針94.5%; 第二針92.9%; 第三針82.8% LINK)之下,反不反對疫苗通行證,對西方疫苗公司而言沒有多大差別的。反正,社會只要長期維持與病毒共存的失控狀態,疫苗需求就是無窮盡的

5. 有的主張香港應仿效新加坡的抗疫,但是這完全漠視了新加坡和香港的疫情都是不相上下的。即新加坡的全球疫情排名為第45名;香港則是44名(LINK)。因此,與病毒共存的新加坡根本不是全中國應該參考的模範,遠遜於澳門和內地。不過,客觀而言,新加坡唯一優秀的一點是其死亡人數比香港少,即1,708名。差不多,香港的十分之一。


There are several key points.


1. Even though the mainland official denied the term "relaxation", the Hong Kong media and the entire Hong Kong hierarchy described the 30 enhancement measures as relaxation. Taiwan's Kuomintang/China Times partner Oriental Daily News used the mainland’s 30 enhancement measures as an excuse to force the Hong Kong government to withdraw all epidemic prevention measures (the Hong Kong government "follows the example" of the mainland). However, Hong Kong, which has been WITH-COVID for a long time, and the Mainland and Macau, which have been in a state of dynamic zero for a long time, are not comparable. The base and foundation are far different. Hong Kong remains the most severe epidemic city in China. Hong Kong is ranked 44th among the 230 countries and regions with severe epidemics in the world; Macau is ranked 224th; and the mainland is ranked 98th. Both the Mainland and Macau have room for real relaxation/adjustment/optimization and correction in the long term with dynamic zero. However, the "relaxation" done by Hong Kong, which is a hard-hit area actively co-existing with the virus, will only mean giving up the fight against the epidemic. Relaxation of epidemic prevention measures is not called epidemic prevention.

2. Hong Kong media and foreign media frequently release unconfirmed news (under the seriousness of the epidemic, ‘fast China-Hong Kong quarantine free clearance in borders’; ‘the mainland has given up dynamic zero’; ‘dynamic zero policy collapsed’ and so on), to first create and prepare public opinions for the favorable outcomes of capital. This is to create and prepare for the self-serving public opinion, wrong expectations, and social atmosphere, and to force those in power to abandon existing, or even effective, policy measures or to facilitate the corresponding actions of the two-faced people who have no control over each other. The Hong Kong media first shaped the public opinion in line with the capitalist atmosphere before forcing the authorities to respond to it. What is disregarded is the fact that the epidemic is serious, and that people are dying every day. This is a highly irresponsible commercial manipulation of the media. For example, the shamelessly ratty "patriotic, Hong Kong-loving" Hong Kong media did not dare to publish anti-state policy ideas directly in the author's real name, but even brought in university teaching assistants under the U.S. government-controlled epidemic expert advisory team to promote the capitalist idea of full withdrawal of epidemic prevention measures. In this way, the Hong Kong media releases daily Hong Kong poison that undermines national policy and public health.

3. Are the Mainland and Macau on the path to optimizing the dynamic zero measures to prevent the epidemic and hope to eventually arrive at a true recovery or WITH-COVID under the severity of the epidemic? This is not yet certain. The image created by the Hong Kong media and foreign media is that "the Mainland/Macau has switched to co-existence with the virus in response to the A4 White Paper Campaign and the end of the dynamic zero policy". So, the Mainland and Macau are quickly catching up with Hong Kong's WITH-COVID in the hardest hit areas of the epidemic? This is also not certain. What is certain is that the political nature of Hong Kong's upper echelons has always been focused on issues in which a state policy contradicts capital, and that they have used the tactics of double-crossers to safely sabotage national policy. The latter are only the victims and eternal cannon fodder for the greedy internal and external capital of Hong Kong. Both the anti-extradition law amendment bill movement and Hong Kong's defiance of the dynamic zero policy are based on capital interests. The former was mainly due to the fear of tax evaders being sent to the mainland; the latter was a war/wave of Western vaccine companies opening up the mainland market. The extinguished white paper itself is by no means the main tool, but the epidemic consultants and health bureaucrats who are not regulated by state security agencies are the main force to disrupt the dynamic zero from within.

4. Behind all these anti-zero policy waves are the powerful interests of Western vaccine companies. However, in this regard, during his visit to China from November 4, the Mainland and Germany's Scholz finalized the possibility for their expatriates to receive vaccines produced in their respective countries, for example, German expatriates in China can receive BioNTech's mRNA vaccine (used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, but only the mainland is not fully open). In addition, Pfizer, which has been in new business campaign in China since December 13, 2022, when the State Council released the statement of Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism and the Hong Kong government abolished the LeaveHomeSafe application and yellow health codes for entry, has vigorously sold the oral new COVID treatment drug Paxlovid online. The main point is that neither Pfizer nor the US National Director of Intelligence (NDI) has a policy of asking for the so-called vaccine pass, but only to WITH-COVID. In other words, if the policy and social condition of WITH-COVID is realized, it is logical for western vaccine companies to open-up the market and gain huge profits in the market. Therefore, under the high vaccination rate (94.5% for the first dose; 92.9% for the second dose; 82.8% for the third dose) in Hong Kong, which coexists with the virus, it does not make much difference to the western vaccine companies whether they oppose the vaccine pass or not. Anyway, if society remains out of control with the virus, the demand for vaccines is endless.

5. Some argue that Hong Kong should follow the example of Singapore in fighting the epidemic, but this completely ignores the fact that the epidemics in Singapore and Hong Kong are comparable. That is, Singapore is ranked 45th in the world in terms of epidemic; Hong Kong is 44th. Therefore, Singapore, which is WITH-COVID, is not at all a model for all of China to follow and is far inferior to Macau and the Mainland. However, objectively speaking, the only good thing about Singapore is that it has fewer deaths than Hong Kong, 1,708. That's about a tenth of the number in Hong Kong. That's it.


NEWS 【事實關係】


復常意味著全撤防疫措施的與病毒共存?還是真正控制疫情後的復甦?


成功實現動態清零狀態的內地和澳門的防疫理念如下:


牽一髮而動全身。防控措施和策略的調整涉及方方面面,不僅要考慮病毒的特性、疫情的態勢,還要綜合人群的抵抗力、衛生系統的救治能力等等。如果步子邁得太小,依然堅持層層加碼、「一刀切」肯定不可取;一旦步子邁得太大,「斷崖式放鬆」「躺平式放開」肯定也會出問題。必須認識到,新冠大流行尚未結束,疫情風險仍然存在。無論政策如何進行優化調整,堅持人民至上、生命至上的導向始終沒有變,堅持科學精准、務實高效的策略始終沒有變。這是我們一直以來的邏輯和思路。

當前,治療方案、防控方案還在持續優化、不斷完善,但這不代表我們的常態化防控「結束了」。事實上,只有在疫情常態化防控的同時,積極加快藥物研發、疫苗接種、能力培訓、物資儲備等各項工作,才能為我們進一步優化調整策略和措施創造條件,為最終戰勝疫情奠定基礎。這意味著,勝利還沒有到來,還遠未到完全放開的地步,「自嗨式放鬆」為時尚早。這也意味著,最大限度保護人民尤其是老年人生命安全和身體健康的任務依然很重,最大限度減少疫情對經濟社會發展的影響還要努力。

疫情防控攻堅戰還在繼續,但無論如何,人民至上和科學精准哪一條都不能缺。這是我們來之不易的經驗,也是最終取得勝利的關鍵。

LINK


動態清零不僅不是絕對清零,也不是以零個案為目標,而是達成感染率低於總人口1%以下就算清零狀態。


內地總人口 14億1260萬人 LINK

感染人口:現有個案36340人 (12月13日)LINK

感染率:0.003%


澳門總人口:671,900人 LINK

感染人口:現有個案233人 (12月13日)LINK

感染率:0.03%


如上所述,不像香港和外部媒體所塑造的形象,內地和澳門都仍然維持著動態清零狀態。


香港積極進一步撤除防疫措施的2022年12月13日的疫情:


現有個案(active cases):322,517人

單日感染者:13,721人

單日死亡者:37人

香港總人口:729萬1千6百人 LINK

感染率:4.42%

LINK


誠然,香港抗疫早就「失敗」了,也根本不處於動態清零狀態。香港死亡人數從2022年9月26日撤除入境隔離期之後,穩定高企不下。誠然,疫情十分嚴峻。照常道理,這是收緊防疫措施的時刻。然而,


港府所做的則是疫情越嚴峻越放寬防疫措施,資本叫撤就撤。這叫做躺平。所謂躺平源自於鴉片戰爭時期的躺平吸毒的姿態。

港府推動違背國策的共存政策已經十分顯著。李家超在2022年12月10日公開透露了逐步拆除內地防疫措施的所謂策略:


行政長官李家超指出:「『新十條』下某些位,哪些是地方可以自主能力會較強?我們做這行自己明白有些政策訂了不能動,有些是政策下放少許(權)力給你,你可以在這個空間爭取。大家都覺得是很多空間可以談,希望會有一些正面的消息,但我又務實的,在過程亦要按部就班,看風險、看變化、逐步逐步。」 醫衞局近日曾指,內地與香港免檢疫通關,現時不是一個話題,李家超就透露可能的落實時間,但強調不能增加內地疫情風險,要達到「雙贏」。 李家超表示:「與內地通關,我覺得2023年,在我心目中,是一個現實可能性,2023年整年,當然希望盡早,你知我心急人。(目前)驛站數目可否由二千名額再加多些?你要不斷令對方說可以,說可以說得多,他下次又會說可以,這就是我,你逐步逐步開,加起上來便會有,這是我的策略。」

LINK


港府疫情專家顧問之一,許樹昌也終於公然主張與病毒共存了。甚至,內地官媒在2022年12月10日報導了專訪:


自2019年12月31日起至今,香港經歷了五波疫情。前四波疫情,香港衛生署衛生防護中心報告的死亡病例為213例。而自2021年12月31日起延續至今的第五波疫情,截至2022年12月8日不到一年時間里,死亡病例增至10678例。尤其是在今年2月-4月,香港經歷了一波疫情高峰,短短兩個月內死亡病例超過9000例。


第五波疫情也恰恰是香港抗疫方針調整的關鍵節點,從「圍堵」清零逐漸轉向以「減少死亡、減少重症、減少感染」為重點。

為何致病性減弱的奧密克戎變異株,反而對香港的「殺傷力」最大?從嚴格管控到鬆綁放開,關鍵是什麼?高病死率的「陣痛」能否避免?


香港特區政府專家顧問、香港中文大學呼吸系統講座教授許樹昌:

►奧密克戎變異株一出現,它的傳播性很高,導致以「圍堵」截斷傳播鏈控制疫情的策略失效,香港後來以「減緩」取代「圍堵」政策。

►不應該用「躺平」來形容防控措施的調整,因為當疫情出現變化,病毒傳播力強,「殺傷力」減弱,疫苗接種率提高時,順應時勢調整策略是明智的。背後還有很多工作需要做,包括推高疫苗接種率等。

►感染人數多少,主要是反映疫情的走勢,最緊要的還是看重症率多少、死亡人數等。整體陽性感染者數字不是一個很重要的指標

不需要採取特別的措施來壓制疫情高峰,因為主要都是輕症,反而要集中火力提高疫苗的接種

►香港第五波疫情死亡人數多,最大的問題是奧密克戎的傳播性很高,而早期疫苗接種率低。很多老年人擔心疫苗有副作用不願意接種,結果死亡的就是這一批沒接種的老年人。

►復盤香港第五波疫情的數據,80歲及以上的老年感染者,如果一針疫苗都沒打,病死率差不多達到15%;只要他們肯打一針,病死率降到7.2%;如果打了兩針,病死率降到3.7%;如果打了三針,降到1.6%;如果四針,降到1%。

►從數據來看,如果之前打了滅活疫苗,第三針轉用核酸疫苗,形成的抗體保護率更好。

►香港的社區形成了「防重症屏障」,但不是「免疫屏障」。因為免疫是完全不感染,但在新冠疫情流行下做不到,暫時消滅不了新冠病毒。


許樹昌:一旦允許感染者居家隔離和檢疫,「圍封強檢」和污水監測等措施的成效和意義不大,建議取消。因為一旦放開,新冠肺炎就會被視作「風土病」,新冠病毒已經清零不了。現在來看,香港可以說是跟病毒共存。我們要面對現實,奧密克戎的傳播性很高,一旦感染很快會滲透整個社區,很多病例找不到源頭,所以反而要調整防疫策略。


澎湃新聞:從目前的情況來看,香港是否已經建立起「人口免疫屏障」?衡量標準是什麼?未來香港感染人數是否會超過90%?

許樹昌:根據血清的檢測,估計香港有一半人感染過,加上接種率非常高,所以社區形成了「防重症屏障」,但不是「免疫屏障」。因為免疫是完全不感染,但在新冠疫情流行下做不到,暫時消滅不了新冠病毒,只能建立起「防重症屏障」。新加坡也是如此。隨著疫情發展,感染人數超過90%是有可能的。

澎湃新聞:總的來說,香港這一年來的抗疫防疫路線圖是怎樣的?

許樹昌:這一年主要是由「圍堵」轉向「減緩」,推高疫苗接種率,適當時候補打加強針,允許輕症和無症狀感染者居家隔離,派發新冠口服液給患者服用減輕病情,減少感染後重症和死亡風險。

澎湃新聞:您對內地目前階段抗疫有什麼建議?

許樹昌:內地目前的抗疫短板是老年人接種率不夠高,跟香港早期差不多,一定要推高疫苗接種率,以及補打加強針。不要只用滅活疫苗,還可以用腺病毒載體疫苗和核酸疫苗等。從數據來看,如果之前打了滅活疫苗,第三針轉用核酸疫苗,形成的抗體保護率更好。

LINK


許樹昌的專訪有幾個重點:


1. 港府把第五波分為兩個階段,而死不承認第六波的存在。據此,2022年只有一波而已。即第五波第一階段為2021年12月底到2022年5月;第二階段則是從2022年6月到現在。前者主要由奧密克戎變異株BA.2;後者則由BA.5造成的。其實不同的疫情波動。換言之,港府實際上從年初開始逐漸改採了與病毒共存。

2. 許樹昌的成績單是全中國最差的香港疫情數據。尤其是感染人口2,275,447人以及死亡人數11,021人 (12月13日 LINK)。防止感染是所謂疫情預防專家顧問的工作。放棄防止感染絕非可接受的態度,是因為只要保持零感染,就會達到零重症(住院),零死亡。許的態度正是躺平。默認這個的就是叛徒,黨內小戈爾巴喬夫。

3. 所謂衞生署衞生防護中心已掌握的年齡和疫苗接種狀況資料上有統計詐術(LINK),即它把曾打過第一針的死亡者和未打針的死亡者混在一起,並沒有分開。這就是統計詐術。不能騙所有的公眾。


就全中國而言,也是處於疫情惡化的局面:


截至12月13日24時,據31個省(自治區、直轄市)和新疆生產建設兵團報告,現有確診病例35274例(其中重症病例150例),累計治癒出院病例329409例,累計死亡病例5235例,累計報告確診病例369918例,現有疑似病例14例。累計追蹤到密切接觸者15109273人,尚在醫學觀察的密切接觸者596873人。


累計收到港澳台地區通報確診病例8977357例。其中,香港特別行政區478020例(出院103631例,死亡11021例),澳門特別行政區1142例(出院804例,死亡6例),台灣地區8498195例(出院13742例,死亡14722例)。

說明:當前,新冠肺炎核酸檢測實行願檢盡檢的策略,許多無症狀感染者不再參加核酸檢測,無法準確掌握無症狀感染者的實際數量,從今天(2022年12月14日)起不再公佈無症狀感染者數據。

LINK


Beijing’s abrupt dismantling of zero-Covid controls has been welcomed by economists, even as the country braces itself for the human impact of letting the disease spread through a vulnerable population.


The leadership’s abrupt U-turn on how it handles the pandemic appears to have been triggered by protests against controls that began last month, a nationwide show of discontent on a scale China had not seen in decades.


But that unrest came after growing concern about the toll that isolation and regular harsh lockdowns were having on the country’s economy.