Weibo and WeChat, China’s two largest social media platforms, censored WHO Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for questioning China’s zero-Covid policy


WHO chief censored on China’s web after calling zero-Covid policy unsustainable


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May 11, 2022

2022-05-11 11:28:17

The censorship on Weibo and WeChat, China’s two largest social media platforms, targets WHO Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ feedback that expressed uncommon disagreement with Beijing’s insurance policies.

“Once we discuss concerning the zero-Covid technique, we do not assume that it’s sustainable, contemplating the conduct of the virus now and what we anticipate sooner or later,” Tedros informed a media briefing Tuesday, citing the elevated transmissibility of Omicron.

“We have now mentioned this difficulty with Chinese language specialists and we indicated that the method won’t be sustainable…I believe a shift shall be crucial,” he stated.

The United Nation’s official press account on China’s Twitter-like Weibo posted Tedro’s feedback early on Wednesday morning, drawing a wave of sarcastic feedback from Chinese language customers.

“Resolutely struggle in opposition to any phrases and acts that distort, doubt or deny our nation’s epidemic prevention and management insurance policies! Down with the World Well being Group!” a high reply stated.

“Ought to the UN’s verified account be blocked this time?” one other stated.

By mid-morning, the submit was not viewable on Weibo “as a result of creator’s privateness setting.” It’s unclear below what circumstances the setting was modified.

A Weibo hashtag of Tedros’ identify has additionally been censored, with pictures that includes his face being scrubbed from the platform, although posts containing his identify are nonetheless seen.

On WeChat, an article from the UN’s official account that included Tedros’ feedback has been “banned from sharing as a result of a violation of related legal guidelines and rules” as of Wednesday morning. Video clips of Tedros’ speech have additionally been faraway from the platform.

China’s zero-tolerance method of snap lockdowns, mass testing and quarantining has protected nearly all of its inhabitants from Covid over the previous two years, however it has drawn rising dissent because the lockdowns turn out to be extra stringent and frequent amid the quick unfold of Omicron.


May 11, 202212:53 PM GMT+8 Last Updated 2 hours ago

WHO chief’s remarks on China’s COVID policy blocked on country’s social media


BEIJING, May 11 (Reuters) – A United Nations Weibo post on the World Health Organization chief’s comments that China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy is not sustainable was removed from the Chinese social media platform on Wednesday morning shortly after being published.

WeChat, another Chinese social media platform, disabled the sharing function of a similar post by the United Nations.

Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We don’t think that it is sustainable considering the behaviour of the virus and what we now anticipate in the future.” read more

His remarks were posted in Chinese by the United Nations on its social media accounts.

The United Nations and Weibo did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The item on WeChat carried the explanation: “This article has been prohibited from sharing because it has violated relevant laws and regulation.”

Tedros’s remarks generated much buzz on China’s heavily censored internet, as a prolonged lockdown in Shanghai and increasing curbs on mobility in Beijing and other cities caused mounting frustration among people.

China is adamant that it will stick to its zero-COVID policy to fight a disease that first emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019, warning last week against criticism of a policy that it says is saving lives.

Reporting by Martin Quin Pollard and Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore


WHO Says China’s Zero-Covid Strategy Unsustainable


May 10, 2022

China’s flagship zero-Covid strategy to defeat the pandemic is unsustainable, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, adding that it had told Beijing so and called for a policy shift.

China has imposed draconian measures, trapping most of Shanghai’s 25 million people at home for weeks as the country combats its worst outbreak since the pandemic began.

The Shanghai lockdown has caused outrage and rare protest in the last major economy still glued to a zero-Covid policy, while movement in the capital Beijing has been slowly restricted.

“When we talk about the zero-Covid strategy, we don’t think that it’s sustainable, considering the behaviour of the virus now and what we anticipate in the future,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.

“We have discussed about this issue with Chinese experts and we indicated that the approach will not be sustainable.

“Transiting into another strategy will be very important.”

“We need to balance the control measures against the impact they have on society, the impact they have on the economy, and that’s not always an easy calibration,” said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan.

He said any measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic should show “due respect to individual and human rights”.

Calling for “dynamic, adjustable and agile policies”, Ryan said early responses to the crisis in many countries showed that a lack of adaptability “resulted in a lot of harm”.

He reflected on how the world’s most populous nation had had relatively very few deaths officially ascribed to Covid, and therefore had “something to protect”.

Given the rapid rise in deaths since February-March, “any government in that situation will take action to try and combat that”, he told reporters.

Tedros has been discussing adjusting according to the circumstances to find an exit strategy, “in depth and in detail with Chinese colleagues”, Ryan said.


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