China has intensified propaganda efforts to drum up support for its “dynamic zero-Covid” policy just as experts and companies warn of the heavy economic blow from extended lockdowns.

On Thursday, China’s official Xinhua news agency published an article warning that the country’s medical system risked “breaking down” in the event of a mass Covid outbreak. It echoed President Xi Jinping’s comments a day earlier, calling for citizens to “overcome complacency” in “response to the virus’s mutation”. 

“The global pandemic is still severe, so we cannot relax the controls now,” Xi said during a visit to the southern province of Hainan.

Beijing’s decision to enhance its lockdown measures to fight the spread of the highly infectious but milder Omicron variant stands in marked contrast to most of the world, which is learning to live with the virus.

Bo Zhuang, a Singapore-based analyst at Loomis Sayles, said…

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