China’s ‘zero case’ COVID-19 strategy faces its biggest test thus far in an ongoing Delta outbreak. In an encouraging sign, totals for August 5 saw a slight decrease from the day before, but the geographic spread of the outbreak and its presence in various tourist hot spots remains cause for concern. The authorities have instituted a series of lockdowns and travel restrictions to stem the spread of the virus, though at considerable economic cost.

Success would cast China as a standout from the long list of countries that have struggled to contain outbreaks of the Delta variant. Failure would entail severe economic consequences given the country’s ‘zero case’ public health strategy and suspected shortcomings of China-produced vaccines against the Delta variant (yet to be clinically proven).