WHO chief’s remarks on China’s COVID policy blocked on country’s social media

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

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BEIJING, May 11 (Reuters) – A United Nations Weibo post on the World Health Organization chief’s comments that China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy is not sustainable was removed from the Chinese social media platform on Wednesday morning shortly after being published.

WeChat, another Chinese social media platform, disabled the sharing function of a similar post by the United Nations.

Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We don’t think that it is sustainable considering the behavior of the virus and what we now anticipate in the future.” read more

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His remarks were posted in Chinese by the United Nations on its social media accounts.

The United Nations and Weibo did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The item on WeChat carried the explanation: “This article has been prohibited from sharing because it has violated relevant laws and regulation.”

Tedros’s remarks generated much buzz on China’s heavily censored internet, as a prolonged lockdown in Shanghai and increasing curbs on mobility in Beijing and other cities caused mounting frustration among people.

China is adamant that it will stick to its zero-COVID policy to fight a disease that first emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019, warning last week against criticism of a policy that it says is saving lives.

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Reporting by Martin Quin Pollard and Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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