I think they originally saw the virus as a chance to be seen being all manly and decisive. Willing to make the hard choices and force the populace to make sacrifices. Emphasis on "force" for Mandate of Heaven reasons.
The problem is the virus turned out to be harmless. Killed only those who already had one foot in the grave. Because the lethality is so low it can afford to be outrageously infectious. This is almost completely normal for coronaviruses, by the way. If you had asked an epidemiologist in 2018 whether corona would go this way one day, they would have given you a frequency per century. Not a surprise to anyone who isn't totally ignorant of the domain. Naturally, "technocracy" means nobody thinks to ask.
Now the CCP is stuck taking extremely forceful measures to contain a nearly ineluctable virus. If they admit the virus is harmless, they lose face. "Yeah uh actually we fucked up. Oops." Even Americans have difficulty with that. Mandate of Heaven mores means uncertainty isn't allowed; CCP has no chance.
Also there's probably some internal politics going on which I know nothing about. The idea was floated that they shut down some factories just to troll the USA's "supply chain" issues. This is hardly impossible but not exactly a leading contender. Still, it has the right flavour. Maybe it's more of an internal conflict. The dude in charge of lockdowns has a rival whose power base is in Shanghai, so he's locking down hard to try to shove them back a few places. Something of that nature. Maybe everyone in CCP needs a turn at being hard and manly. Hinky stuff going on.