China zero covid policy ends with protest and violence

Recently protests erupted in China about the zero covid policy with hundreds of protesters shouting “Step down Xi Jinping ”, “Step down communist party” and “Don’t want Covid test, want freedom”. 

The zero covid police includes mass testing that is carried out in places where cases have been reported, people with Covid are isolated at home, or placed under quarantine at government facilities, businesses and schools are closed in lockdown areas, shops must also close – except for those selling food, lockdowns last until no new infections are reported. 

The policy goes into extreme measures and lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid, many citizens in China believe that this is restricting their freedom. 

Many stories have also come out stating how many citizens in the country have been struggling due to being in extreme lockdown and how they aren’t able to get food or medicine because of it. 

An event occurred that sparked the protest, when a deadly fire broke out in the Capital of Xinjiang where ten people were killed and nine left with serious injuries, the reason 10 people died and many injured was that firefighters weren’t able to get into the building due to covid restrictions and one of the reasons why many citizens are frustrated and angry at the government which is rarely seen in China. 

To add insult to injury, many of the victims who died in the fire were likely confined inside that building for months. The zero covid policy has also affected the economy of China greatly when it has only grown 3.9% compared to its target of 5.5% this year. The is due to factories and businesses being shut down for a long period of time due to lockdown and Covid restrictions. 

Still, there is no hint of the Chinese government stopping the policy and more likely to continue the zero covid policy. 

“I think that masks are not really useful as I wore masks throughout the year and still caught it in 2022,” senior Kibret Zerezghi said.