China's epidemic control approach science-based, effective
China's anti-epidemic measures are science-based, and once again, proved to be effective, as new infections are dropping and factories are gradually resuming production in the eastern metropolis of Shanghai.
The city of nearly 25 million reported 253 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,961 asymptomatic carriers on Friday, a drastic drop from a peak of 27,000 cases daily. Community transmission has been severed in seven districts and parts of the Pudong New Area.
North China's Tianjin Municipality reported a COVID-19 resurgence on January 8, and the city announced it had blocked COVID-19 transmission in communities on January 21. The northeastern province of Jilin, where tens of thousands of infections had been registered since March, cut off all COVID-19 transmission chains in communities on April 14.
China's dynamic zero-COVID approach targets COVID-19 outbreaks rather than infections. The essence of the approach is early detection and quick response with the purpose of stopping the continuous spread of the virus in communities.
The highly contagious and elusive Omicron variant can still cause serious symptoms, especially among the elderly with underlying conditions.
China has a population of over 1.4 billion, 267 million of whom are aged 60 or above. It is just unimaginable how many of them might have died had China not taken drastic efforts to combat the coronavirus.
Economically, the dynamic zero-COVID approach will benefit China over the long term. Mass quarantine, nucleic acid testing and closed-off management do come at a cost, but the economy can operate to its full extent once the outbreak is brought under control.
China was among the first countries to bring the epidemic under control, resume work and production, and achieve positive economic growth in 2020. In 2021, its GDP increased by 8.1 percent over the previous year, leading major economies in terms of economic growth. Facts have also shown that China has contributed significantly to reviving the global economy and stabilizing the supply chain over the past two-plus years.
Of course, no country can expect the same playbook to solve all problems. The virus keeps mutating and great uncertainties remain with the development of the epidemic. China has continued to adjust its anti-epidemic measures with the changing epidemic situation, and strive for securing a balance between epidemic control and economic and social development.