dynamic zero-COVID

China will adhere to its “dynamic zero-COVID” policy to contain its current outbreak, said Chinese health official Wang Hesheng on Friday.

China will adhere to its “dynamic zero-COVID” policy to contain its current outbreak, said Chinese health official Wang Hesheng on Friday.

China has pledged rigorous and targeted COVID-19 prevention and control measures to contain the latest wave of infections caused by the Omicron variant, according to Wang, vice minister of the National Health Commission (NHC) and administrator of the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for swift and targeted measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country, and stressed coordinating efforts for pandemic containment and socioeconomic development to get maximum virus containment results at minimal cost.

Cost effective

“The ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ policy does have some impact on life and work,” Wang admitted. “But considering people’s safety and health, the sacrifices will be worth it.”

Wang explained how China assesses the cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 control policies with four criteria.

The first is how many people are protected. China has a “very low” number of infections, critical cases and deaths, Wang said.

The second is speed. Wang told reporters that China can usually achieve its dynamic zero in an area within one to two maximum incubation periods, which is quite fast.

The third is affected areas. Wang said the vast majority of Chinese people are living normally at the expense of inconvenience in very few areas.

The fourth is economic results. Wang stressed that the economic effect should be calculated by counting China as an integrity. “It’s not objective to count only the areas where COVID-19 spreads,” he told reporters. “We should look at the big picture.”

Additionally, Wang said people should not blame all the economic losses on COVID-19 control measures.

“We need to identify which part of the losses was caused by COVID-19 and which part was due to economy development itself,” he explained.

Wang also said China will pay more attention to details in COVID-19 control, respond faster and stronger in order to minimize the economic impact.

Updated but not relaxed plan

China has updated its diagnosis and treatment playbook for COVID-19 on Tuesday to optimize medical resources, and health officials stressed that the updated plan does not mean a relaxed policy for disease containment.

“The plan was adjusted based on our practice for the control and prevention of the coronavirus in the past two years, and it particularly reflects our research on the characteristics of the virus’ variants that include Delta and Omicron,” said Jiao Yahui, deputy director of the NHC’s Medical Administration Authority.

According to the plan, patients of mild symptoms will not be taken directly to hospitals as originally required. Rather, they will be put under quarantine in centralized locations, such as mobile cabin hospitals.

“But is does not mean we’ll leave them unattended,” Jiao said, adding that medical workers are on location to monitor patients’ condition and transfer them to designated hospitals if need be.

The revision also lowered the requirement for lifting quarantine and discharging patients from hospital. Patients with a CT value equal to or higher than 35 are considered non-infectious, down from the former value of 40.

Additionally, recovered patients will now undergo seven days of health monitoring at home instead of the 14-day quarantine at designated places.

Latest numbers

China is fighting its biggest wave of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since it contained the initial outbreak in Wuhan in 2020.

The county recorded 2,461 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 2,388 linked to local transmissions and 73 from overseas, according to data from the NHC on Friday.

A total of 1,904 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded, and 12,786 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

Confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now total 126,234, with the death toll remaining unchanged at 4,636 since January last year.

Source: CGTN

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