China's supreme leader Xi Jinping enforced a strict three-year zero-Covid policy, but instead of building up his country's medical resources to cope with the pandemic, all that was done was keep citizens indoors often for months.
Forced by unusual citizen protests last month, Xi withdrew the zero-Covid policy, only to see coronavirus cases spiral out of control.
As Chinese medical facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China struggle to cope with the surge in coronavirus cases, Xi is missing from action.
Glimpses from China under a state of pandenic siege:
IMAGE: A medical worker conducts pre-examination on a patient amid surging COVID-19 numbers at the Tongji hospital in Shanghai. Photograph: cnsphoto/China Out/Reuters
IMAGE: People wait outside a fever clinic in Shanghai. Photograph: Reuters
IMAGE: People wearing PPE wait outside a funeral home in Shanghai. Photograph: Staff/Reuters
IMAGE: A medical worker provides instructions to a resident at a mobile fever clinic converted from a bus in Huaian, Jiangsu province. Photograph: cnsphoto/China Out/Reuters
IMAGE: An employee works at the production line of a fever medicine at a Guizhou Bailing plant in Anshun, Guizhou province. Photograph: cnsphoto/China Out/Reuters
IMAGE: Travellers wait for their flight at Beijing airport. Photograph: Tingshu Wang/Reuters
IMAGE: Commuters ride a subway train during morning rush hour in Beijing. Photograph: Josh Arslan/Reuters
Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/Rediff.com
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com