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China Ends Zero-COVID; Oysters Help Clear The Waters In Hong Kong. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired December 08, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, lovely people. It`s Thursday. So happy Friday eve. It`s your boy Coy, Mr. Clean, but I keep it cleaner.
Let`s keep crushing it this week each day aiming to be a little better than the day before. This is CNN and it`s time to fuel our minds.
We start with an update. China is scrapping some of its most controversial COVID rules, moving away from their strict zero COVID policy which have
caused people mental and emotional stress and strain.
Earlier this month, protesters took to the streets in a rare display of defiance against the country`s ruling communist party. The people are
reeling from the effects of the government placing millions of people under lockdown and limiting access to loved ones, food and even medicine. All
this on top of the economic strain it`s caused.
China`s zero COVID policy has kept the nation`s infection rate lower than countries like the United States by isolating every case of COVID and
shutting down the surrounding areas. But easing restrictions now marks a significant step in the government`s plans to reopen the country.
This week, the Chinese government announced 10 new guidelines that loosened restrictions, most notably allowing people with COVID to quarantine at home
instead of being taken to an isolation facility, a practice which previously frightened its citizens. The government is also dropping
mandates that required proof of a negative COVID test to enter public places. These are some of the significant steps which should offer relief
to China`s residents after nearly three years of disruption to their daily lives and economic futures.
But there`s still concern. Twenty-five million people in China have not received a coronavirus vaccine. If there`s an influx of new cases, it could
overwhelm the hospital system, leading to a potentially tragic situation for citizens.
Our Selina Wang has more.
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the kind of line Beijingers stand in, outside in the cold to get their COVID tests. A 48-
hour test is required to get into most places.
But there aren`t many places to go. Much of Beijing is still closed down. This is one of the most popular tourist places in the city. But the
restaurants are largely closed, and the malls are pretty empty.
So, this McDonald`s is still open but for takeaway only. But even to get takeaway, you`ve got to prove that you`re clear of COVID.
Here`s how I do it. I open up the health app on my smartphone, I scan the QR code.
So, it says, I`ve got a green code, and I`ve got a recent COVID test, so I`m good to go.
This code dictates all of our daily lives in China. Green means good to go. Red means I may have to isolate at home or go to a mass quarantine
facility. This allows China to track the movements of virtually all 1.4 billion people in the name of contact tracing.
I`ve got to scan my code to get into a taxi, a public park, a mall, or a coffee shop. Even a public bathroom.
(voice-over): I ran into a group of delivery people on the street. They`ve got to do COVID tests every single day to do their jobs.
This woman tells me the pandemic has been hard on her. I ask her why. She says it`s because she`s scared of the virus.
Getting COVID in China is unlike anywhere else in the world. You and your close contacts all get sent to a quarantine center. This is a convention
center in Beijing that`s been turned into a massive quarantine facility with thousands of beds.
But some of these facilities in the country, they are in very run-down and unsanitary condition. And then your whole building or community could go
I spoke to a man who`s been in and out of quarantine six times already just this year. He tells me his whole building of more than 200 families went to
a quarantine facility last month, because they were considered close contacts. He says he`s not scared to get COVID because omicron is less
severe and his whole family has been vaccinated.
I approached a few people just released from this mass quarantine center here. I ask if they had tested positive for COVID. Yes, the man nods and
says they have recovered. "How many days did you spend in there?" I asked. "Seven days," he said.
Unprecedented protests recently erupted across China.
They are chanting that they don`t want COVID tests, they want freedom.
Authorities swiftly cracked down on the protesters. But they are finally softening their stance on zero COVID. Some cities are lifting lockdowns,
changing COVID testing requirements. Under some conditions, people can now quarantine at home if they have COVID, which is a huge deal.
But this country has already built up a whole infrastructure around zero COVID, spending all of its resources on quarantine facilities and COVID
So it`s going to be a long and slow exit from zero COVID.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Ten-second trivia:
In the animal kingdom, oysters are classified under what phylum?
Mollusca, arthropoda, chordata or porifera?
Oysters are soft-bodied invertebrates belonging to the phylum mollusca.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Did you know that scientists estimate that oysters have been around for 15 million years and they`re far more valuable than the beautiful
pearls that they can produce. The reefs that take shape as they grow together create a shelter where hundreds of other species can flourish.
They`re also crucial for ocean health, filtering the water around them. One oyster can filter gallons of water per day.
Let`s hear now from conservationists who are hoping to be successful in restoring Hong Kong`s famous oyster reefs in CNN`s Call to Earth.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tucked away in the northwest corner of Hong Kong with the high-tech Chinese mega city of
Shenzhen in sight is a rich habitat that is home to mangroves, soft, muddy shores and oyster reefs that date back centuries.
For over 700 years local farmers cultivated oysters here in the mud flats of Pak Nai and recent decades, traditional oyster farming has declined due
in part to coastal reclamation and over harvesting.
But conservationists like Marine Thomas have discovered that reintroducing oysters to the abandoned reefs can boost biodiversity and strengthen these
MARINE THOMAS, SENIOR CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY: Usually, people will associate oysters with food but less known is that
oysters and other shellfish create habitats. They create reef habitats. In fact, just like coral reefs, they will bunch together and create these hard
structures that you can actually walk on.
STOUT: In a survey of the city`s coastlines, researchers from the Nature Conservancy at the University of Hong Kong discovered existing reefs like
these old farms could potentially act as a source of oyster larvae. They also found that a single Hong Kong oyster can filter up to 30 liters or 8
gallons of water an hour, one of the highest filtration rates recorded for the species.
Another finding, the reefs host six times more species and bare mud flats as the piles of shells provide shelter for worms and small crabs,
attracting a variety of animals including birds like this little egret.
And yet another benefit is mitigating the effects of climate change, so how does the humble oyster do that?
THOMAS: So the humble oyster will also help us fight climate change if it`s in a reef structure so if it`s in a hard reef structure that is
creating a barrier, think of it as a natural sea wall then it`s going to be creating friction on the sea bottom that will attenuate wave action and
therefore also flooding at the back of it.
STOUT: Since 2020, Thomas and a team of volunteers have been at work restoring this abandoned oyster farm. They dry old shells in the sun before
returning them to the water to form a base for oyster larva to attach to. They hope to introduce millions of oysters to help revitalize the area over
the next few years.
ASHLEY HEMRAJ, MARINE BIOLOGIST, THE SWIRE INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: One of the biggest things that always amazes me
and makes me happy is seeing all the number of crabs here, especially here as you walk, the crab walks away. It`s -- if you fix on it, it`s quite
amazing to see this. It is really, really beautiful.
STOUT: As new oysters grow, they clean the water, provide shelter and food for wildlife and join forces with the mangroves as a coastal buffer.
A spectacular sunset descends on Pak Nai as these small briny creatures work to build an ever more vibrant ecosystem.
WIRE: And for today`s 10 out of 10, if you`re a jogger and you`re claustrophobic, this race is not for you. Hundreds of jolly old joggers in
a Santa run in Michendorf, Germany, jingling all the way, dressed in red from head to mistletoe, look at all those Santas go.
Talk about spreading Christmas cheer, this is the 14th annual race. One Santa said that even if you finish last, it`s being there that counts. They
ran in near freezing temperatures, maybe getting fit to deliver those gifts, Santa even without his sleigh still slays.
It`s slay-NN 10, the most wonderful time of the year and the most wonderful part of this show: you.
Special shout out to all the teachers today. Keep up lifting, informing and inspiring students. Going up and dap your teacher up give them a handshake
or a high five. Let them know that you appreciate them.
Also getting a shout out, Holdrege Middle School in Holdrege, Nebraska. Keep shining.
I`m Coy Wire. I`m headed to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. So I`ll see you from there tomorrow.