Dynamic approach to combat COVID-19: A solution for China and a gift to world
Published: May 17, 2022 12:20 PM Updated: May 17, 2022 12:17 PM
In residential areas, daily purchases are all online orders or group purchases, which are not open to offline customers. Photo: Shi Liu/GT
In residential areas, daily purchases are all online orders or group purchases, which are not open to offline customers. Photo: Shi Liu/GT

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus shared some views on China's COVID-19 response at a media briefing on May 10, while his colleague, WHO Emergencies Director Mike Ryan, stressed that the impact of China's COVID-19 prevention and control measures on human rights also needs to be taken into consideration. These controversial comments caused public attention and discussion.

China is one of the countries with the most successful COVID-19 response in the world. Chinese people have made great efforts in fighting the pandemic and contributed a lot to the approaches of antivirus work. This is a fact witnessed by the international community. However, it is regrettable that WHO officials made irresponsible remarks on China's COVID-19 prevention and control policy without sufficient evaluation of China's efforts and contributions.

China's dynamic approach is not aimed at realizing zero infections, but rather at bringing COVID-19 under control at the minimum social cost in the shortest time possible so as to effectively protect the health, normal life and production of the 1.4 billion Chinese people to the maximum. And the policy is not rigid as it changes according to the situation. The Chinese government has formulated and implemented the policy based on China's national realities and the changing conditions.

Responsible for lives

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese government has been committed to a people-first and life-first philosophy, and to an approach featuring preventing imported cases from abroad and resurgences at home. As a result, there have been 222,130 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,214 deaths in Chinese mainland as of May 16, while the number is 517,648,631 and 6,261,708, respectively, across the world in total as of May 13, according to WHO.

China has a huge population and a traditional virtue of respecting the old and loving the young, which means we value the health of families and the longevity of the elderly. In fact, relaxing prevention and control measures will inevitably lead to a shortage of medical care, more deaths and, eventually, social disorder. According to reports based on new modelling by scientists in China and the US, China risks over 1.5 million COVID deaths if it drops its zero-COVID policy.

As China's dynamic policy has offered effective protection to the elderly and vulnerable groups with poor health conditions, it is responsible for lives and health of the people.

Sustainable for economy

We all know that China's approach is different from the laid-back approaches of herd immunity and natural immunity followed by some countries. However, "coexistence" apparently did not bring the expected positive results. Due to the recurring pandemic, global markets lack clear and positive expectations and businesses are struggling to maintain normal operations. The coordination and balance of pandemic control and economic growth seems to be unpractical and impossible.

In contrast, China, with the dynamic policy, was the only major economy in the world to achieve a positive growth in 2020, and its GDP exceeded 110 trillion RMB in 2021. Meanwhile, the main goal of the policy is to improve monitoring capabilities for early signs of danger. Especially, the establishment of a 15-minute walk stands where mass testing and quarantining could be conducted will replace lockdown of major cities and reduce the cost of daily prevention and control.

China's dynamic policy continues to provide solutions to pandemic prevention and economic growth, it is sustainable for the economy and development. More importantly, it is the most suitable policy for China to curb viral infections, and buy time to ramp up efforts such as focusing on sufficient vaccination for a possible way out of the pandemic.

Essential for global recovery

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the world has been held back by recurring waves of surges for over two years. It has become the common aspiration of the international community to defeat the pandemic as soon as possible.

China has contributed a lot to the world. Apart from the vaccines and other medical supplies, China has also contributed to the security and stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain. Without China's efforts and commitments, it will be difficult to deliver global recovery. China's dynamic approach is not to seek zero infections, but rather to curtail the viral transmission in the shortest time span, which provides a powerful guarantee for people's health and lives, and also effectively protects the fragile economic development.

We should work together to minimize virus transmission, increase vaccination and build immune barriers instead of arbitrary criticisms and irresponsible remarks. We should make our adjustments on the basis of scientific and rational analysis instead of ideological biases. Only in this way can we light up the dark path to global recovery.

China's dynamic policy, which prioritizes protecting lives and balancing economic development, will stand the test of history and be respected.

The author is a commentator on international affairs. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn