In December 2022, China announced several changes to their COVID-19 policies. Dr. Winnie Yip, Professor of Global Health Policy and Economics, spoke with several major U.S.-based media outlets to discuss indications of the Chinese government’s changing direction in regard to its longstanding “Zero-COVID” approach, as well as critical reopening strategies the government could employ in order to safely and effectively do so.
Dr. Yip, who is also Faculty Director of the Harvard China Health Partnership, emphasized that at this time, the key objective is not to reduce infections. “The key is to reduce the consequences of infection, including mortality and [the] severity of infection that would require hospitalization.” The course of further policy changes in China is still unknown; however, Dr. Yip offered her perspective on pertinent questions such as which restrictions could be prioritized for rolling back, how to safeguard vulnerable groups in the process, and how the Chinese public’s understanding of COVID-19 infections and vaccinations could be reframed moving forward.
Dr. Yip was cited in “Opinion: How China can pivot from ‘zero covid’ while preventing calamity,” by Leana S. Wen, Contributing Columnist, The Washington Post, December 5, 2022