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Global Times

China reiterates unshakable stand on dynamic zero COVID-19 policy

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Mar 18, 2022 09:10 PM

China's National Health Commission on Friday reiterated the significance of China firmly sticking to the dynamic zero COVID-19 policy, saying the defensive line must be guarded against the epidemic for the country of 1.4 billion people.

Wang Hesheng, deputy head of the National Health Commission (NHC), said at Friday's media briefing that China's practice of battling COVID-19 proved that insisting on the dynamic zero policy is the defensive line China must be guarding, is the best manifestation for practicing the principle of people first, and was the biggest contribution to the international battle again COVID-19.

China's COVID-19 response has balanced epidemic prevention and economic and social development, making China the only major economy with positive economic growth, he said.

Through the targeted dynamic zero policy, China ensured the majority's normal life and work at the expense of sacrificing the normal activities of a very small number of people, he said.

The impact brought by China's prevention and control measures was limited and short term, and any prevention and control measures have a cost, but it's worthwhile comparing with protecting people's life and health, Wang said.

Wang's remarks came after Chinese leadership stressed at a meeting on Thursday science-based and accurate measures and the adherence to the dynamic zero-COVID policy to curb the spread of the epidemic soonest.

China has updated its COVID-19 treatment playbook amid its battle with the worst outbreak in two years, ordering COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms to go to centralized quarantine facilities instead of hospitals, and lowering the requirements for patients to be discharged from hospitals.

Speaking at Friday's media briefing, Jiao Yahui, head of the Bureau of the Medical Administration of the NHC, said that updating the playbook does not indicate a relaxing of the prevention and control measures, but a targeted amendment based on observation and research to Delta and Omicron variants.

The amendment is aimed at battling the virus more scientifically and achieving the maximum effect with minimum costs, Jiao said.

Wang said that Chinese health authorities will try to put cluster infections under control as soon as possible and speed up screening of people at risk, and further improve the targeted and scientific prevention measures, including promoting the monitoring pattern of screening with antigen testing and diagnosing with nucleic acid testing, and guide local health authorities to minimize the impact on economic and social development.

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