BEIJING — China’s “zero tolerance” strategy of trying to isolate every case and stop transmission of the coronavirus has kept the country of 1.4 billion people largely free of the disease.
But the public and businesses are paying a steep price. The government has renewed city lockdowns and travel controls in some areas to quash outbreaks that began in July. Most of China is open for travel, but tourists are reluctant to risk getting caught in a lockdown. That led to a slump in August consumer spending.
International athletes are due to compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, but authorities haven’t said if spectators from abroad will be allowed into the country.
China has reported 4,636 confirmed deaths — none since February — and 95,577 confirmed cases since early 2020. The total reported cases is smaller than one-day new infections in the United States, India and some other countries.