China’s newly released 10-point plan an active move to optimize COVID response, more scientific and precise: NHC
Published: Dec 07, 2022 07:46 PM
Pedestrians walk on a major avenue in Beijing on December 6, 2022. Photo: IC

Pedestrians walk on a major avenue in Beijing on December 6, 2022. Photo: IC

China's newly released 10-point plan is a more scientific and precise move that the country has taken proactively to further optimize COVID-19 response, rather than "a complete relaxation," leading health experts said during a press conference on Wednesday. 

In light of the changing situation and the weakened virulence of Omicron, the State Council, China's cabinet, released the new measures to further optimize the response to COVID-19, accelerating the lift of restrictions in high risks areas in order to further strike a balance between epidemic control and social and economic development. 

With the weakened virulence of Omicron, the popularization of vaccination and the accumulation of prevention and control experience, China rolled out the optimized measures in terms of nucleic acid testing, home quarantine, vaccination of the elderly and health management of the population at risk to resolutely correct "one-size-fits-all" approach in anti-epidemic work, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission (NHC), said during a press conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council on Wednesday. 

The optimized measures do not signal a full relaxation but compressive consideration based on experiences accumulated in response to the new characteristics of the coronavirus, which aim to efficiently allocate resources. It is a coordinated control and development approach, Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under the National Health Commission (NHC), said during the Wednesday briefing. 

Taking small steps without stop or hesitation and proactively improving prevention and control policies has been an important lesson that China has learned in epidemic prevention and control, Liang said, noting that the virulence of Omicron has weakened and the vaccination rate of the whole population has exceeded 90 percent, which brings a new situation and new tasks for the country in epidemic control work. 

Liang also noted that it is a systematic work to adjust the prevention and control measures as well as the strategies, which involves a wide range of factors to be considered, such as the characteristics of the virus, the epidemiological characteristics of the disease, the status of the disease spectrum, the trend of the epidemic, population's resistance to the disease, the prevention and treatment capacity of the medical institutions and the epidemic situation at home and abroad. 

According to Liang, China has been closely following the changes in the virus and the disease, taking prevention and control and making adjustments, while strengthening the construction of capacity, studying the conditions for the adjustments on prevention and control strategies in order to find the best plan. 

Experts also assured at the Wednesday briefing that Chinese vaccines are safe. Party and government leaders have been inoculated with the Chinese vaccines same as what ordinary Chinese people have, Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the NHC, said during the Wednesday briefing. 

Monitoring by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on 3.4 billion doses of vaccines received by 1.3 billion people showed adverse effects of China's COVID19 vaccines are comparable to those of other normal vaccines. The NHC said side effects in the elderly are slightly lower than in young people. 

In response to a question about whether China will adjust epidemic measures for international arrivals, NHC spokesperson said the latest optimization mainly targets domestic epidemic control work and will gradually optimize measures for international arrivals. 

Global Times