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Traveling Into China Is Like "Entering A Fortress"; Making Softer Robots. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired May 02, 2022 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: With four weeks left to go in our spring broadcasting season, we`re happy you stopped by. I`m Carl Azuz.
We are not yet living in a world without COVID-19, but we are living in one that`s increasingly removing restrictions related to the virus. The
European Union recently announced that it is out of the emergency phase of the pandemic. What that likely means is that there will be less mass
testing events in Europe.
The EU may pull back from trying to report every case of COVID, and instead focus on how the disease spreads in communities. It`s also looking at ways
to track coronavirus data like it does that of the seasonal flu. This is according to a report by the Reuters News Agency.
Rules are being lifted in several European countries with case numbers and hospitalizations dropping, so are limits on where you can go and what you
can do. In Italy, for instance, people no longer have to show a sort of vaccine passport, proof they`ve been vaccinated or recently recovered from
the virus in order to go to the gym, the movies or a restaurant.
Greece has gotten rid of vaccination and testing rules for people traveling to that country as its tourism season gets going. The European Union
estimates that between 60 and 80 percent of its population has had COVID. The omicron version of the virus is now the main strain spreading there,
and it`s less severe than previous versions like delta.
So even though the World Health Organization has not declared an end to the pandemic and even though it warns that new variants of the virus could
still crop up, some governments and many residents around the world are indicating they`re ready to move on.
The nation of China continues to be an exception. We`ve told you about the shutdowns and complications they`ve caused in the city of Shanghai, where
more than 25 million people live. Now, a major clampdown is in effect in Beijing, the Chinese capital that`s home to more than 21 million people.
They now have to show proof of a negative COVID test to go into public areas. Universal Studios has been shut down, all dining and restaurants has
been banned. And this is all happening during China`s Labor Day holiday, an event that typically lasts five days. Despite China`s strict coronavirus
rules though, the disease continues to spread throughout the country.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Traveling into China`s like entering a fortress. The country has been virtually sealed off since the
start of the pandemic, burdened by strict border controls and the world`s harshest quarantine.
My journey to get in started with three PCR tests in Tokyo.
Seven days out for my flight, I just got my first COVID test.
Back at home, I tracked my daily temperature and packed a suitcase full of snacks to prepare for 21 days in quarantine. Within 48 hours of boarding,
China requires PCR tests at two different government-approved clinics.
This is possibly the most paperwork I ever needed to board an airplane.
I say goodbye to Tokyo, my home for the past one and a half years. Checking in at the airport relatively smooth.
Still checking my documents. I finally have my boarding pass. I`m at the gate. I`m going to China.
Most people on my flight are Chinese citizens. Foreigners can only enter under very limited conditions. It`s even harder for American journalist
because of U.S.-China tensions. All the flight attendants are in full protective gear.
We are ready for takeoff. Here we go.
Flights into China, especially Beijing, are extremely limited. Even though I`ll be based in the capital, first, I`m flying to Yunnan province. After
landing, I get another COVID test. A bus eventually takes us to the quarantine location. No one can choose to where they will be locked in for
the next 21 days.
Hours later, we arrive. I count myself lucky. It`s a hot spring resort converted into a quarantine site. It`s my first time here, but I`ll have to
enjoy the view from the window. I can`t step out onto the balcony or open my door, except for health checkups and food pick up. Two temperature
checks a day, regular COVID tests, sometimes even twice a day.
Food delivery isn`t allowed. But breakfast, lunch, and dinner are part of the quarantine fees. These restrictions are all part of China`s zero COVID
Across China, tens of millions are sealed inside their homes. Since mid- December, China`s average new daily case count has searched from double digits to more than 20,000. Any positive case and close contacts has to go
to government quarantine.
Entire metropolises brought to a standstill. Most of Shanghai`s 25 million residents have been locked in for weeks, many struggling to get enough
food, and medical care.
In year three of the pandemic, most of the world is learning to live with COVID. But in China, no cases tolerated, no matter the emotional and
economic costs. (END VIDEOTAPE) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Today's news in 10 minutes
May 6, 2022
Today's news in 10 minutes
Updated 2214 GMT (0614 HKT) May 5, 2022
CNN10: The big stories of the day, explained in 10 minutes 10:00
(CNN)May 6, 2022
We're featuring a pair of reports on natural disasters. First, we take you to the U.S. state with the highest number of active wildfires to examine how much territory they've burned -- and what could happen if they're not brought under control. Then, we're discussing tornado damage and other problems caused by a storm system that has swept the southern U.S. Also: Could a robotic "manicurist" threaten jobs held by humans?
1. The European Union recently announced that it is out of the emergency phase of what?
2. What nation maintains a "zero Covid" policy that makes traveling into the country like "entering a fortress," according to a CNN reporter?
3. With several indexes seeing their worst drop since 2020 (and one exchange seeing its worst since 2008), what U.S. economic indicator saw widespread losses in April?
4. An endangered species of sea lion, which is threatened by everything from disease to fishing accidents, may be staging a comeback on the South Island of what country?
5. What two countries were discussed on Wednesday's show following a series of heatwaves that struck them, raising temperatures as high as 116 degrees Fahrenheit?
6. Name the private, U.S. spaceflight company whose vehicle carried six passengers to the edge of space last December.
7. By what fraction of a percentage point did the Federal Reserve raise interest rates this week -- the first time since 2000 that it raised them by this much?
8. U.S. President Joe Biden recently asked Congress to pass an additional $33 billion for what, about a month after the legislature approved more than $13 billion for it?
9. In what U.S. state, which currently has the most active wildfires, could thousands of homes be threatened if the blazes continue to grow?
10. What is the two-word nickname for the region of the U.S. where tornadoes commonly occur, though they have formed in every U.S. state?
Click here to access the printable version of today's CNN 10 transcript
CNN 10 serves a growing audience interested in compact on-demand news broadcasts ideal for explanation seekers on the go or in the classroom. The show's priority is to identify stories of international significance and then clearly describe why they're making news, who is affected, and how the events fit into a complex, international society.
Thank you for using CNN 10
China: How is its zero
Its worst spike in cases since the start of the pandemic has prompted a policy rethink.
China: How is its zero-Covid strategy changing?By Kai Wang and Wanyuan Song
BBC Reality Check Published 4 April Related Topics Reality Check
IMAGE SOURCE, GETTY IMAGESChina's zero-Covid policy has been among the strictest approaches to tackling the pandemic anywhere in the world.
But a recent surge in infections is forcing it to reconsider how it deals with the pandemic.
How serious is the current wave?
The latest jump in daily cases, widely spread across the country, has been driven largely by the Omicron variant.
Tens of millions of people in China, including the largest city and financial centre Shanghai, have been put under lockdown.
Mass testing is being carried out, while makeshift hospitals and quarantine centres have been set up across the country.
Shanghai lockdown: Economy shaken by zero-Covid measures
China: Shanghai hospital struggles with Covid infections
However, compared with the United States and Europe, infection rates remain low.
In the week prior to 1 April, there were about 54,000 new cases in the whole of mainland China. In the US over a similar period, there were over 180,000 new infections according to official data.
How is China's policy changing?
As more infections are detected across the country, China's strict zero-Covid strategy is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain.
However, most of its principal elements remain in place:
Travel to and from China is strictly limited, and there are restrictions on internal movement
Travellers from abroad with permission to enter China are screened and sent to government-designated hotels for a mandatory quarantine of at least two weeks, followed by a further period of monitoring
Regular community testing programmes are carried out and if infections are detected, residents can be evicted and sent to quarantine facilities (along with targeted area lockdowns)
All non-essential businesses have been shut, apart from food shops and some other essential suppliers
Schools are closed and public transport is suspended, with almost all vehicle movement banned
IMAGE SOURCE, GETTY IMAGES Image caption,
Millions of people are currently under lockdown in China
As China's healthcare system is put under increasing strain, some regulations have been relaxed:
People with mild symptoms no longer need to attend designated hospitals, but they still need to isolate at centralised facilities
Quarantine-period rules have been reduced
Self-testing kits are being made available in stores across the country and online, but those who test positive will need to take PCR tests
IMAGE SOURCE, GETTY IMAGES Image caption,
China has approved antigen (lateral-flow) self-test kits after cases hit a two-year high
How successful has China's zero-Covid policy been?
China has had remarkable success containing the pandemic prior to the current outbreak.
Since the end of 2019, it has reported just over 4,600 deaths (according to Our World in Data).
In the United States, close to one million people have died having contracted Covid-19.
That's around three deaths per million people in mainland China, compared with about 3,000 in the US and 2,400 in the UK.
Reported infections in China have also been very low throughout the pandemic.
Concerns have been expressed about the accuracy of the official data, but it seems clear that both infection and death rates have been low when compared with other countries.
About 88% of the population is now fully vaccinated. Despite this, China is almost alone in adhering to strict zero-Covid policies.
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