Scorch rushed into the Mystical dorm room one afternoon. She found her friend, Verum, sleeping soundly with soft snores. Scorch shook her awake and said, “Verum, Verum! The number of Covid-19 cases has shot up in Hong Kong and China. Could you please check with your crystal ball?”

Verum opened her eyes and let out a huge yawn. She said, “Slow down, Scorchie. I just woke up. Please tell me one thing at a time.”

Scorch repeated her words. Verum immediately rushed to her crystal ball to understand the news. She confirmed, “You’re right. China and Hong Kong are seeing the largest spike in cases in about two years.

This is quite strange. Both mainland China and Hong Kong have been using the zero-Covid policy since the pandemic began. If even one case is detected in any part of China, lockdown is enforced and mass testing is carried out. And since Covid-19 as a disease cannot be completely wiped out, these measures are implemented time and again.

It must be said that these measures seemed to work. In 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared China’s methods to be the best way of dealing with the coronavirus. But there are drawbacks to it.”

“Of course,” agreed Scorch, “People must feel the strain of the repeated lockdowns and restrictions.”

“Yeah. First, they felt the strain when the Delta variant was spreading across China. And now, this is the situation with the outbreak of the Omicron variant,” added Verum, “While the government isn’t entirely backing down from this policy, they have made slight changes.

For instance, a Covid-19 patient would earlier be admitted to a hospital whether or not they showed symptoms. But now, they will be treated in centralized locations. It will also be easier to discharge a patient from quarantine.

So, unlike Hong Kong, Chinese hospitals might avoid being overrun by patients.”

“And looking at Hong Kong’s situation, China would want to stick with this hard elimination policy,” muttered Scorch thoughtfully, “For now, it seems like things won’t change drastically.”