The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is being censored on China’s internet after he questioned the sustainability of the country’s zero-COVID policy.
Soon after his comments, the content and hashtag associated with “World Health Organization” and “Tedros” were blocked on Chinese social media site Weibo.
The social media platform WeChat also banned people from sharing an article from the United Nations’ official WeChat account that contained the director’s comments.
According to Chinese official document, the “Zero-COVID” policy will help timely and proactively detect the source of cases, track and manage the close contact to the cases and to cut off the transmission route, and effectively treat the patients.
In line with the policy, actions include but are not limited to isolation, quarantine, contact tracking, vaccination, closing public facilities and ore.
The lockdown measures have trapped most of Shanghai’s 25 million people at home for weeks as China tries to stamp out the country’s worst outbreak since the pandemic began.
“We need to balance the control measures against the impact on society, the impact they have on the economy, and that’s not always an easy calibration,” Ghebreyesus said.
In response, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry called on Ghebreyesus to avoid making “irresponsible” remarks and to view China’s coronavirus policies “objectively.”
Chinese authorities believe China will face a “tsunami” of coronavirus cases if the measures are not in place and the medical system will not be able to afford.