The consequences of the “zero Covid strategy” are not just economic. The latest estimates now show how much the environment is suffering from the increase in plastic and hazardous waste. The mass tests in China are doing their part.

China has its own method of dealing with the corona pandemic. The main components of this strategy are lockdowns and mass testing. Where a case occurs, the area, the house, the block of flats, is isolated and the occupants are tested daily.

Alexander Görlach is Honorary Professor of Ethics at Leuphana University in Lüneburg and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. After stints in Taiwan and Hong Kong, he has focused on the rise of China and what it means for East Asian democracies in particular. From 2009 to 2015, Alexander Görlach was also the publisher and editor-in-chief of the debate magazine The European, which he founded. Today he is a columnist and author for various media. He lives in New York and Berlin.

So it can be that a few cases result in thousands of tests. Experts assume that these measures alone will not lead to getting the People’s Republic free of the pandemic. So while the effectiveness of these daily tests is questionable, they lead to another, huge problem: contaminated plastic garbage and hazmat suits.

In Shanghai alone, 68,500 tons of waste are said to have been generated during the two-month lockdown, six times more than usual. The authorities are responsible for the disposal of this hazardous waste, which, if not disposed of properly, can contaminate groundwater.

National figures are not available, but projections can be made based on Shanghai’s consumption. And the number of lockdowns in China is not decreasing: After they were relaxed and lifted in Shanghai and Beijing, other cities in the Yangtze River Delta have been under quarantine for a few days now because new cases have appeared there.

FOCUS-MONEY shows how investors can cleverly benefit from world trade with national and international agricultural stocks, agricultural ETFs.

The two provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu are a few hours’ drive from Shanghai. There are fears that the pandemic could return to Shanghai. Which would entail further mass tests in the metropolis with a population of 26 million. After all, flight connections to Beijing have been suspended to stop the spread of the pandemic.

The World Health Organization and universities are trying to estimate how much hazardous and plastic waste could have accumulated in China in order to come up with strategies for environmentally friendly disposal. A conservative estimate comes to the conclusion that a total of 8.4 million tons of additional plastic waste could have been generated by the pandemic worldwide. According to a study, 25,000 tons of it have already ended up in the sea, where microplastic endangers the animal and plant world.

Profit from the movements on the financial markets. The basis for this is always a depot. Here you will find offers that suit your needs.

The People’s Republic has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2060, an already ambitious goal given that China gets much of its energy from cabbage. In order to be able to absorb the economic crash caused by the pandemic through increased production, Beijing had even considered increasing production in the country.

Nothing will come of this as long as the government’s “zero Covid” strategy can result in the closure of entire cities with all their factories and ports. The lack of revenue hits cities hard, which in turn saves money by improper (and therefore costly) disposal of medical waste.

Hong Kong is the only major city in China that has not yet implemented Xi Jinping’s “zero Covid” approach. Jin Dong-Yan, a professor at the Hong Kong University School of Biomedical Studies, did not mince his words. The measures in the People’s Republic are “costly and ineffective”.

But China’s ruler Xi Jinping is sticking to his approach, also known as the “Wuhan model”. Back then, at the beginning of the pandemic that broke out in the central Chinese city, people had to be isolated and separated from each other. The omicron variant, however, is far milder and actually allows the sick to recover at home.

However, the leadership has not informed the people of this, mainly because there is no effective vaccine for sustainable immunization of the population in China. Xi Jinping, who speaks of an emerging East and a declining West in his propaganda, wants above all to avoid being dependent on aid from hated countries.

Reports, videos, background information: FOCUS Online provides you with the most important news from the finance department every day. Here you can subscribe to the newsletter easily and free of charge.