The regime's health authorities were “resolutely” convinced to continue with their controversial strategy to contain the pandemic. However, they expressed their intention to make some adjustments to their protocols
A person undergoes a test for detect the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a nucleic acid testing center, in Shanghai, China, November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song
China announced today that it would “resolutely” uphold its COVID zero policy, but expressed opposition to “the 'lock it all' and 'open everything' trends”.< /p>
“It is necessary to abolish the overlapping of different prevention measures,” explained the spokesman for the National Health Commission Mi Feng at a press conference, adding that “we must fight against irresponsible behavior who advocate a total opening”.
Given the outbreaks that are registering many points of the geography of the Asian giant, the also official of the Commission Shen Hongbing< /b> explained that China “will continue to build hospitals”and will ensure that they have “enough beds”, of which 10% must be intensive care.
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Shen also assured that “the relevant departments are formulating a plan to accelerate vaccination ”.
The Asian country has based its entire inoculation campaign on domestically manufactured vaccines. They have administered more than 3.4 billion doses among their population of around 1.4 billion inhabitants, although the elderly have been one of the most reticent groups to receive the injection.
A person receives a COVID-inhaled vaccine 19 produced by Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics, at a community health service center in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China November 3, 2022. China Daily via REUTERS/File
“Al When choosing a vaccine, consider safety, efficacy and accessibility”, Shen clarified, thus responding to recent rumors about whether China will adopt vaccines from foreign companies such as Germany's Biontech.
“More precise” measures
Last Friday, China made adjustments to its protocols to fight the pandemic, and the Executive advised against carrying out routine PCR tests on the entire population of a city or a district.
He also criticized practices such as collecting samples from residents twice in one day, which have occurred recently in some cities, for “not being scientific”.
For his part, Mi, quoted in the local press, assured this Thursday that the different localities are implementing “quickly” the new settings and “taking more precise measures” when it comes to isolating those infected and carrying out PCR tests.
A woman is tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a nucleic acid testing center, in Shanghai, China, November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song
Since last spring and given the growing number of cases, several cities decided to implement a system according to which residents must present, through an application on their phones, a negative PCR test carried out within 24, 48 or 72 hours prior to using public transport or entering offices, museums, schools, parks, shops or other spaces.
However, many cities this week have canceled free routine tests, choosing to reserve them for “situations in which the contagion chain is not clear” and for “key population groups” or to make them paid.
< p class="paragraph">In some locations, the cancellation of routine sample collections has not been accompanied by a relaxation in the requirements for a PCR result at the entrance of public places, which has caused long queues at the booths that remain open and show frustration among the population.
People line up to get tested of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a nucleic acid testing site, at Flower Town Square in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China November 16, 2022. cnsphoto via REUTERS
Cities likeBeijing, Chongqing (center) or Canton (south) have recently registered a sharp increase in the number of COVID cases, although they have avoided total lockdowns such as the tax last spring in Shanghai (east).
The zero COVID policy, which consists of isolating all those infected, strict border controls, campaigns massive PCR tests and confinements where cases are detected, has been in force since the beginning of 2020 in the Asian country, despite symptoms of exhaustion among the population in recent months that have led to recent riots in cities as Canton.
According to official figures, 5,226 people have died since the start of the pandemic in China, whose authorities maintain that the zero COVID strategy has saved million lives.
(With information from EFE)