Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, condemned China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as “not sustainable” during a press conference on Tuesday, May 17.

In Shanghai, where many citizens have been under lockdown for six weeks, the relentless and often chaotic application of zero-COVID has sparked a great deal of discontent and led to food shortages.

Tedros stated that because scientists know the virus better and have better tools, such as vaccines, the virus should be handled differently than at the outset of the pandemic. He noted that the virus had significantly evolved since it was initially discovered in Wuhan in late 2019 when China used lockdowns to halt its spread.

Tedros said that the WHO had regularly briefed Chinese officials about their suggested COVID control techniques but that each country must choose its own approach.

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