Has China defeated the virus?
According to official figures, the coronavirus infection rate has dropped to extremely low levels in China. During the Golden Week holiday, millions of Chinese travelled within the country for National Day and Moon Festival celebrations. Mobility and consumption are rising there once more. The press points to the strong contrast with the second wave in Europe.
Like two different planets
Suddenly only China seems to be immune to the virus, Corriere del Ticino notes in wonder:
“Looking at the current images from China, you'd think it was on another planet: tightly packed crowds of people in Beijing, Shanghai and other metropolises, throngs of people on the Great Wall - with zero social distancing and only wearing face masks if they feel like it. Not to mention the travel and shopping boom across the country. A paradoxical situation, when you consider how everything started from the Chinese epicentre in Wuhan. ... So while European economies are struggling to avoid further lockdowns, which would be fatal at this point in time, it's likely that China's GDP will increase in 2020 thanks in particular to the surge in exports of medical and healthcare products.”
Asia's Covid authoritarianism is successful
Not only China but also other East Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore have been successful in the fight against Covid thanks to radical restrictions, Vedomosti points out:
“Some of them are far more democratic than China. But this democracy faded away during the epidemic. It was replaced by nationwide and (compared to the Western world) strict discipline. In this way, the general social observance of quarantine measures and decency on the part of individual citizens were coupled with harsh penalties (e.g. for those refusing to wear masks) and electronic tracking of all sick and infected people without exception - and, if necessary, with local lockdowns. But for us such digital tracking is tantamount to neo-totalitarianism, isn't it?”