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New COVID-19 rules are a response to new situation, expert says

By Wang Xiaoyu | | Updated: 2022-12-07 16:57
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A citizen receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Yinchuan, capital city of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Jan 2, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's recent optimization of its COVID-19 measures is aimed at adjusting to the nation's new epidemic situation and the latest patterns of viral mutations, and at making more efficient use of its resources so that people can remain protected while living normal lives, a senior health expert said on Wednesday.

The State Council's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism on Wednesday released 10 new COVID-19 control measures, which include allowing asymptomatic or mild cases to isolate at home rather than having to report to centralized quarantine facilities. The 10 new measures follow the launch of 20 adjusted measures that were released on Nov 11.

Liang Wannian, a member of the National Health Commission's COVID-19 response expert panel, said during a news briefing that the launch of the new measures does not signal a complete relaxation of disease control policies, nor does it mean the government has grown passive toward the epidemic.

"The optimized measures have been rolled out based on the traits of the dominant strains in circulation and the domestic COVID-19 epidemic situation, as well as outcomes of current disease control measures and experiences and issues reported by local authorities," he said.

Liang said actively optimizing disease control measures is a significant move in China's fight against the disease.

"Currently, the pathogenicity and virulence of COVID-19 variants have significantly dropped. Vaccination coverage across the nation has exceeded 90 percent, and public health awareness has increased," he said. "Our COVID-19 control work is facing a new situation with new tasks."

Liang said boosting immunization among the elderly and ramping up stockpiles of medications and medical materials will continue to be key to battling the virus.

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