China's efficient dynamic zero-COVID policy: epidemic control within one incubation period
Published: Dec 02, 2021 01:34 AM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

"As a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, China's practices against COVID-19 have shown that effectively containing the virus is the biggest contribution to the international anti-pandemic fight," said Ma Xiaowei, head of the National Health Commission (NHC), noting that China will strictly adhere to it and consolidate the hard-won achievements.

Ma said that "China's dynamic zero-COVID policy is an essential part in the fight against COVID-19 and the country will stick to the strategy," Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Since October, the virus has spread to more than 20 provincial-level regions in China. The epidemic has been quickly and effectively dealt with in border cities like Ejin Banner, a city bordering China and Mongolia, Heihe, in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Dalian, a major port city in Northeast China's Liaoning Province. The recent outbreak has entered the last phase.

China has been improving COVID-19 prevention and control policies and measures to efficiently deal with sporadic and cluster cases with minimum social cost. This round of flareups has been caused by several imported sources without connection. However, they were all under control within an incubation period of 14 days, Ma said.

"Some countries did not adopt the zero-COVID policy and the pandemic emerged over and over again, which brought an impact on people's lives, safety and health, as well as the economy," according to Ma.

Some Western media also started to discuss this matter. With the world reporting more cases of the Omicron variant, the emergence of the cases has provided some vindication for China's zero-COVID approach, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Also, people may have more questions about whether China's strategy may offer a better defense from virus variants when more countries are trying to take travel and border restrictions again, the report said.

The country will follow the principle of taking full use of the golden 24-hour at the beginning of an outbreak to fully deploy epidemiological investigation and supervision teams and strive to control the outbreak within an incubation period, Ma said.

Everyone hopes the epidemic could be controlled in the shortest time with the minimum social cost. It is necessary to adopt several measures to ensure accurate prevention. A working mechanism has been established to combine regular accurate prevention and targeted epidemic emergency response, Ma said.

From emergency epidemic response and regular prevention to dynamic zero-COVID policy, the country has entered the third phase in the fight against the virus. Effective measures for human, property and environmental pandemic protection should continue. For the loopholes exposed, more measures should still be improved, and vaccination against COVID-19 still needs to be vigorously promoted. 

The latest local flareups were caused by imported sources which indicate that the country still needs to follow the preventive policies strictly, including rigorous management at entry ports and in tourism and other social activities, noted Ma.