China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy driving up poverty, says UN expert

Beijing’s strict adherence to its zero-COVID strategy has led to rising poverty rates as China grapples with the economic fallout of prolonged lockdowns and mobility restrictions, a United Nations independent expert has warned..

In a statement released on Wednesday, Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, expressed concern over the impact of the zero-COVID policy on vulnerable populations in China, particularly migrant workers, informal sector workers, and the urban poor..

The zero-COVID policy, which aims to eliminate all COVID-19 cases within China’s borders, has involved stringent measures such as mass testing, lockdowns, and border closures. While effective in curbing the spread of the virus, the policy has also disrupted economic activity and caused widespread job losses..

According to De Schutter, the sudden and prolonged lockdowns imposed under the zero-COVID policy have left many migrant workers stranded without work or income. .

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