It is time for China to move away from mass lockdowns and take a more targeted approach against covid, International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva said days after widespread protests broke out against China's strict zero covid policy. This change, according to Georgieva, would ease the impact on a world economy already struggling with inflation, the energy crisis and a disrupted food supply.
Georgieva urged in an interview with the AP agency a "recalibration" of China's harsh "covid zero" approach "because of the impact it has on both people and the economy."
From Berlin, the managing director assured that the organization sees "the importance of moving away from mass confinements, of being very focused on restrictions. So that targeting allows the spread of covid to be contained without significant economic costs."
Georgieva also urged China to review vaccination policies and to focus on vaccinating the "most vulnerable people." A low vaccination rate among the elderly is one of the main reasons why Beijing has resorted to lockdowns.
Lockdowns have slowed everything from travel to retail traffic to car sales in the world's second-largest economy, so Georgieva urged "adjusting the overall approach to how China assesses supply chain performance." with a view to the indirect impact it has on the rest of the world”.
The Washington-based IMF expects China's economy to grow just 3.2% this year, below the world average for the year, which is rare.