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China postpones Asian Games as it continues crackdown on doubters

China is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world where Covid restrictions are being abandoned and vaccines relied on to protect people

China | Asian Games | Beijing


Asian Games
The Asian Games were to be held in Hangzhou from September 10-25

residents fretted on Friday over tightening Covid curbs in its biggest district and dozens of new cases reported daily as China's leaders reiterated their resolve to battle the virus and threatened action against critics of their strict measures.

Incurring a heavy economic cost and facing rare public criticism on its tightly-policed internet, is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world where Covid restrictions are being abandoned and vaccines relied on to protect people.

Internationally, industry organisations have complained that China's 'zero-COVID' policies have global economic reverberations. At home, the population worries about painful, long-term restrictions.

In the latest ratcheting up of restrictions, authorities on Friday said all non-essential services in its biggest district Chaoyang, home to embassies and large offices, would shut. Mass testing will also resume in at least four districts over the weekend.

Meanwhile, organisers of the Asian Games, scheduled to take place in September in Hangzhou, southwest Shanghai, postponed them until 2023, because of Covid, defying a global sporting calendar that has largely returned to normal.

The Chinese capital is racing to avoid an explosion in cases like the one that forced the commercial hub of Shanghai into an almost complete lockdown for more than a month, taking a financial and psychological toll on its residents.

"We will try to cooperate," said 42-year-old finance worker Hu, giving only her surname.

"But I also hope that the government can introduce some policies that will not affect the overall life of citizens.

After all, we all have mortgages and car loans." After a meeting of the highest decision-making body, the Standing Committee of the Communist Party's politburo, state media reported late on Thursday that would fight any comment or action that distorted, doubted or repudiated its Covid policy.

Relaxing Covid controls, which are in place in dozens of cities across the world's second-largest economy and affecting hundreds of millions of people, would lead to large-scale infections, it warned.

On Friday, the Communist Party's official People's Daily newspaper hit out in an editorial against accusations China's COVID policy was disrupting the global economy and trade.

FDA restricts J&J's COVID vax due to clot risk

US regulators have strictly limited who can receive Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine due to the ongoing risk of rare but serious blood clots.

The Food and Drug Administration said the shot should only be given to adults who cannot receive a different vaccine or specifically request J&J's vaccine. US authorities for months have recommended that Americans get Pfizer or Moderna shots instead of J&J's vaccine.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, May 07 2022. 01:00 IST