General direction in China is toward downgrading COVID management to Class B settings: former CDC head Gao Fu
Published: Dec 15, 2022 01:01 PM
Beijing residents queue up to purchase medicine at a pharmacy on December 14, 2022. Photo: IC

Beijing residents queue up to purchase medicine at a pharmacy on December 14, 2022. Photo: IC

China will move toward downgrading COVID-19 management back to Class B control measures as the virus cannot be removed, with a focus on reducing the severity of symptoms, which is an important mission, Gao Fu, former head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in addressing the subject of epidemic prevention and control in the face of a shifting domestic landscape. 

While COVID-phobia is wrong, so is downplaying the power of the virus. Gao is advocating treating the disease with a peaceful mind in a themed speech during an online lecture series held by University of Chinese Academy of Sciences on Wednesday. 

Gao pointed out that although its virulence is becoming weaker, Omicron is still a COVID-19 virus and the spreading of the virus among the population can cause critical illness or potential fatalities. 

According to Gao, China has made significant achievements in scientific prevention and control over the past three years, not only minimizing the loss of life, but also leaving enough time for the country to develop vaccines and prepare sufficient medical resources. 

However, adjustments to epidemic management policy pose new requirements to the public. Gao suggested act in an orderly and patient manner when visiting a hospital, and advised young people and those with mild symptoms not to go to hospital to allow medical resources to be prioritized to the elderly and those with underlying conditions. 

In terms of the most critical tasks for prevention and control as the country enters a new stage of dealing with the virus, Gao said that vaccinations were a vital tool. 

"Vaccines can provide four-tiered protections including preventing infection, incidence of the disease, spreading and critical illness and death," Gao said, noting that 13 COVID-19 vaccines have received market approval or had been greenlighted for emergency use in China. 

Global Times