No scientific logic involved, but the Hong Kong government ‘streamlines’ the flight suspensions regime in such a way few will notice much difference. And with impeccable timing, the Airport Authority announces that the third runway will start operations later this year. (As a Mainland-built Covid isolation facility?)
Much of the mental trauma Hong Kong people are undergoing arises not just from the effects of harsh and unscientific Covid policies, but from trying to work out why?
From a (probably paywalled) Economist story on Beijing’s obsession with internal stability ahead of the CCP congress later this year…
If officials relax the [zero-Covid] policy to protect the economy they would risk a surge of cases that could overwhelm China’s fragile public-health system.
Surely the root of the Hong Kong dilemma. If Hong Kong transitions to ‘living with Covid’ ahead of the Mainland, what message does that send the Chinese public about the CCP’s infallibility? We have to drag out absurd flight suspensions so as not to look different.
And then the icing on the cake: an HKFP article points out how omicron has given Beijing an opportunity to reduce barriers between the Mainland and Hong Kong systems via traditional medicine and health workers. (Extra context: a relentless focus on travel-, quarantine- and school-related policies that encourage the middle class and expats to leave.)
As Dr Owens mentions in his latest, the greatest suffering falls on the least well-off. And…
The failure to define a strategy has resulted in an attempt to walk a tight rope, balancing on the one side, science and evidence, and on the other a political constituency seemingly unable to understand the most basic concepts of biology.
And how did this get past the SCMP’s Party Secretary? The patriotism/Nat-Sec-driven dismantling of district civic groups – and official boycotting of remaining pan-dem activists – has undermined the fight against Covid at neighbourhood level…
“It took a few months for the government to break community links that had taken 40 years to build up. We can’t expect anyone to have the ability to rebuild them soon.”
The official explanation for Shanghai’s use of phased lockdowns in handling its latest outbreak: the region’s economic importance to the rest of the world. Sounds like making-it-up-as-we-go bullshit. Probably a sign of tension between zero-Covid ideologues and science-based pragmatists as the city is poised to go the way of Hong Kong.
For chart geeks – HKFP presents highlights of Hong Kong’s omicron saga in graphic form.
And, on non-Covid affairs, how Beijing is enforcing correct thinking on Ukraine among educators.