Is China softening its policy response to COVID-19?

Data show that China’s policy has become less stringent and more targeted during the national outbreaks of COVID-19 in 2021, and in confronting Omicron at the beginning of 2022. Image: Renato Marques for Unsplash

Meng Ke

Associate Professor, Tsinghua University

Hao Zha

MPP student of School of Public Policy & Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


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Figure 1: Comparison of average population-weighted stringency of provinces in China, updated to 28 February 2022. Image: Data: OxCGRT
Figure 2: Comparison of provincial response in the autumn wave. Note: Note: Provinces in Group A experienced local outbreaks in the summer, including Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Beijing, Sichuan, Ningxia, Chongqing, Shandong, Yunnan, Jiangsu, Hubei, and Hunan; provinces in Group B did not experience local outbreaks in the summer, including Heilongjiang, Hebei, Gansu, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Qinghai, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang. Image: Data source: OxCGRT, National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China

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