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Building immunity barrier, sharing future

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-08 08:29
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Customers are seen at a shopping mall in Qiaoxi district of Shijiazhuang, north China's Hebei province, Feb 5, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

During the Spring Festival holiday in late January last year, when the COVID-19 outbreak was still snowballing, people in China had to abide by social distancing norms and stay at home, skip the usual entertainment activities, for fear of contracting the novel coronavirus.

This February, however, thanks to strict prevention and control measures in China, including quarantines and vaccinations, the spread of COVID-19 has been contained largely during the Spring Festival holiday.

Chinese people were able to enjoy almost normalized life, albeit by wearing a mask and using health code at public places.

The overall holiday period consumption jumped 28.7 percent year-on-year to 821 billion yuan ($127 billion), and cinema box-office receipts exceeded a record 7 billion yuan.

In the first six weeks of this year, total box-office receipts neared 10 billion yuan, or half of last year's total.

China aims to vaccinate the eligible population as widely as possible and gradually build an immune barrier within the whole population to control the epidemic, the National Health Commission said.

Vaccination is planned first for key groups, to be followed by high-risk groups and then the general population.

At the same time, the country is also ramping up vaccine production capabilities.

While China's efforts in domestic prevention and control of the disease have paid off, the country also keeps an open and inclusive attitude toward vaccine development and endeavors to keep its promise of developing COVID-19 vaccines as a global public good.

As of mid-February, China had offered COVID-19 vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries at their request, and had exported vaccines to 22 nations.

During this year's Spring Festival holiday in February, China delivered vaccine shipments to seven countries, including Zimbabwe, Turkey, Peru, Morocco and Senegal.

Leaders of countries such as Hungary greeted the shipments' arrival at airports and expressed heartfelt thanks to China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media conference recently in Beijing.

The nation has also been assisting other countries to manufacture their vaccines in China or locally in order to boost global production capacity.

It is said no man is an island. No country will be able to get rid of the pandemic on its own. The pandemic seems to underline China's vision that it is important to build a global community of nations with a shared future for humankind.

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