China making rapid return to normalcy: Vice Premier Liu He
Published: Jan 18, 2023 12:22 AM
People buy local snacks at a shopping festival in Pingyao Town of Yuhang district in Hangzhou city, East China's Zhejiang Province, January 11, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

People buy local snacks at a shopping festival in Pingyao Town of Yuhang district in Hangzhou city, East China's Zhejiang Province, January 11, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

The transition of China's COVID strategies has been smooth on the whole, with the epidemic reaching its peak quickly and the return to normalcy happening faster than expected, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss resort of Davos on Tuesday, in response to questions concerning the epidemic situation in China.

The WEF Annual Meeting 2023, also known as the "Davos Forum," kicked off on Monday, returning to offline format for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out three years ago. Liu shared the characteristics of the epidemic situation in China after the country turned from the comprehensive zero-COVID policy to a focus on treatment of severe diseases on December 8, 2022, before further downgrading its COVID-19 management from Class A to Class B and fully reopening its borders on January 8, 2023.

According to Liu, the transition of the COVID strategy has been smooth on the whole. After a period of surging infections, most people have now gone back to normal life. The epidemic reached its peak relatively quickly and the return to normalcy also happened fast, which in a sense exceeded expectations, Liu said.

At present, the key and difficult point of epidemic control still lies with the elderly COVID-19 patients who have underlying conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, Liu said, noting that China is making an all-out effort to cope with the situation. The supply of hospitals, beds, doctors, nurses and all kinds of medicines can be guaranteed, Liu added.

Liu also mentioned that production and life in China have returned to normalcy recently and all types of consumption such as in the catering services and tourism industry have begun to resume.

According to Liu, the number of Chinese travelers is expected to reach 5 billion during this Spring Festival holidays, indicating a full resumption of normalcy.

Regarding trips to China, people from overseas can travel freely to China as long as they can provide negative nucleic acid test results obtained within 48 hours upon arrival. Besides, inbound and outbound travelers can travel freely without quarantine, Liu noted.

China welcomes friends from across the world to visit the country and Chinese people will provide their best services, Liu said.

Shanghai, one of the most popular destinations in China for overseas travelers, announced the end of peak infections on Tuesday.

Shanghai epidemic prevention and control work group announced during a meeting on Tuesday that the city has passed the peak of infections of this round of flare-ups based on a comprehensive judgment. The intensity of transmission in communities has decreased significantly, and the trend of the epidemic has stabilized and improved, with the situation remaining at a low epidemic level.

During the meeting, local authorities said that as the epidemic prevention and control work has entered a new stage, focus should be placed on the prevention of severe cases and optimization of the hierarchical diagnosis and treatment, and they would spare no effort to ensure the protection and treatment of key groups with timely health monitoring and medication guidance.

Global Times