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China strives for balance of pandemic containment, economic development

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BEIJING, 26th March, 2022 (WAM) — In response to recent cluster infections in multiple regions, China has maintained the policy of “preventing imported cases and domestic resurgences” and adhered to the dynamic zero-COVID approach, Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported.

In an article published on Friday, Xinhua said that China “is striving to achieve the best results in epidemic control with minimum costs, and the delicate balance of controlling COVID-19 and promoting economic and social development”.

Resolute measures, including mass nucleic acid testing, quarantine, working from home, and online education, are put in place to see that COVID-19-related testing, isolation, and treatment services are accessible to anybody in need, it added.

“China has ordered all-out efforts to meet the daily needs of people in locked-down neighborhoods where “green passage” is open to the elderly, children, pregnant women, and patients in severe or critical conditions.

“According to the Ministry of Commerce’s monitoring, the recent supply of daily necessities in China is generally sufficient with stable prices.”

Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under the National Health Commission, stressed that the essence of China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach is featuring swift and targeted response measures.

“The country’s latest diagnosis and treatment protocol for COVID-19 patients, its ninth edition, features adjustments regarding case locating and reporting, and patient treatment, aiming to make the epidemic response more science-based and targeted,” Xinhua explained.

According to the new protocol, asymptomatic cases and those with mild symptoms will go to designated quarantine facilities instead of hospitals. The revision, however, does not mean China’s epidemic prevention and control will ease, according to officials.

In combatting the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Shanghai initiated grid screening, or extensive screening of citizens in key districts, industries, and among key groups, through which many asymptomatic cases were identified.

While battling to contain the virus, local governments are exploring ways to minimise the epidemic’s impact on economic and social development.

In Shenzhen City of southern China, local restrictions are gradually lifted, as the goal of dynamic zero-COVID is basically achieved. Starting Monday this week, the municipal government of Shenzhen and public institutions resumed work, and buses and subways returned to normal operation.

Differentiated epidemic prevention measures have been adopted for enterprises on the production and supply chains.

“China’s consumer market has been on a steady recovery trend since the beginning of 2022, with retail sales of consumer goods reaching 7.4 trillion yuan (about US$1.16 trillion) in the first two months, growing 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

“The consumer market has shown strong resilience and potential, and its trend of expanding scale and optimising structure has not changed, according to the Ministry of Commerce,” it concluded.

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