Within days, China will reach a staggering 1 billion doses in its Covid-19 vaccination drive — a scale and speed unrivaled by any other country in the world.
On Tuesday alone, it administered more than 20 million doses. At that rate, it is likely to exceed 1 billion doses this weekend.
Vaccinating a country of 1.4 billion people against Covid-19 is a massive undertaking. Due to China’s successful containment of the coronavirus, many residents initially saw little urgency in getting vaccinated. A history of safety scandals involving domestic vaccines also contributed to public hesitancy.
For those still reluctant, China has a powerful tool in its arsenal: a top-down, one-party system that is all-encompassing in reach and forceful in action, and a sprawling bureaucracy that can be swiftly mobilized.
The top-down approach has been touted by officials as a strength of the Chinese system that helped curb the virus — and has again been deployed to accelerate inoculations.
The all-out campaign to “vaccinate all who can be vaccinated” is being carried out across the country, in major cities and tiny villages alike, with government workers descending on neighborhoods to convince people to get vaccinated. In state-owned companies, meanwhile, employees are urged by their bosses to take the shots, while vaccination sites offer benefits, ranging from shopping vouchers to free groceries and ice cream.
A huge backlog at China’s ports could spoil your holiday shopping this year
Get your Christmas shopping done earlier this year — like, really early.
A coronavirus outbreak in southern China has clogged ports critical to global trade and caused a shipping backlog that could take months to clear.
That’s because authorities in the province of Guangdong — home to some of the world’s busiest container ports — were forced to lock down communities and suspend trade so they could bring the outbreak under control.
While the number of cases has abated, major ports are still operating below capacity, creating a domino effect of delays across the entire region. And that’s particularly bad news when you’re home to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the fourth- and fifth-largest comprehensive container ports in the world.
The upshot: The pain from this backlog could soon be felt by retailers and consumers, leading to a shortage of goods and price increases all the way through the end of the year.
The clog “is adding extra disruption on an already stressed out global supply chain, including the significant seaborne leg of it,” Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst for the shipowners association Bimco, told CNN Business.
He warned that people “may not find all they were looking for on the shelves when shopping for Christmas presents later in the year.”
- Danny Fenster, a US journalist who was detained in Myanmar more than three weeks ago, has appeared at a court in Yangon, according to Frontier Myanmar, the news publication Fenster works for as managing editor.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has admitted his country is facing food shortages that he blamed on last year’s typhoon and floods, just months after he warned North Koreans about a looming potential crisis.
- And in rural Indonesia, live chickens are being given away by local authorities as an incentive for older residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
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A newsroom raided: Hong Kong police declared the Apple Daily newspaper office a crime scene Thursday, after 500 officers descended on the premises to arrest executives and top editors and seize journalistic materials under the city’s national security law. The arrests and probe are the latest step in an escalating crackdown against the provocative, anti-Beijing tabloid, which has become the poster child in Hong Kong for media freedom in what many analysts argue is an increasingly hostile landscape for the industry.