Post Reports

The Washington Post

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post, for your ears. Martine Powers and Elahe Izadi are your hosts, asking the questions you didn’t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays around 5 p.m. Eastern time. read less

Covid whiplash in China
11-01-2023
Covid whiplash in China
It came as a complete surprise. Last month, the Chinese government dropped most of its “zero covid” restrictions. Today on Post Reports, we find out what’s behind the shift and a massive covid outbreak that has since swept the country.Since the start of the pandemic, China has kept in place rigid policies in hopes of eliminating the spread of covid-19. That all changed last month, amid outbreaks of the highly transmissible omicron variant and in the wake of unprecedented protests. In a sudden shift, the government announced no more lockdowns, no more mandatory testing and, as of this week, no more cross-border travel restrictions. “I don't think people saw that coming,” said Lily Kuo, The Washington Post’s China Bureau Chief.But the situation is shrouded in mystery and concerns over a lack of information about the virus. While Chinese authorities report that cases are under control, behind the scenes footage, interviews with hospital and funeral staff, and satellite and forensic analysis from Kuo and her colleagues reveal a much different story. “We know that the health-care system is overwhelmed,” Kuo said. “We don’t know exactly how many deaths. And so it is hard to tell exactly how much of a crisis this is and how bad it will get.”READ MORE: China, engulfed in covid chaos, braces for Lunar New Year case spike.Everything you need to know about traveling to China. Restrictions on travelers from China mount as covid numbers there surge. Tracked, detained, vilified: How China throttled anti-covid protests.