The New York TimesThe New York Times

How will China fare with Covid? 'Meaningless' data clouds the picture.

By Daisuke Wakabayashi and Claire Fu

14 Dec 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

How can we judge whether China is winning its battle against Covid without reliable data? And by extension, who can say how long it will take for the economy to recover? The NYT reports.

Since China dramatically reversed course and loosened its zero-tolerance approach to COVID last week, Beijing has gone all out to convince the public that it can weather the potential risks of lifting restrictions and still put the world’s second-largest economy back on track.

Its once bleak prognostications have turned downright optimistic: COVID-19 is entering the “last stage” and will soon become a manageable seasonal illness, said one of China’s leading voices on the coronavirus. The virus’ spread will peak in a month, predicted another prominent Chinese epidemiologist. A top state TV news anchor declared that “we are on the road” to ending the crisis, with the latest COVID variants less dangerous and officials saying the country’s medical preparedness will protect against the most catastrophic outcomes.

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