Photo taken on April 9, 2022 shows the exterior view of a makeshift hospital converted from the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) in east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Li He)
BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- As China is battling a COVID-19 resurgence attributable to the Omicron variant with tens of thousands of new infections reported a day, a dynamic zero-COVID approach remains crucial and necessary for the country to rein in the highly contagious and elusive virus.
The Chinese mainland reported 1,351 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 25,111 new asymptomatic carriers on Saturday, mostly in Shanghai and northeastern Jilin Province. Yet China has not relaxed its dynamic zero-COVID approach, making all-out efforts in containing the spread of the virus and ensuring supplies of daily necessities for those who stay put.
China's COVID-19 response measures, based on a people-centered development philosophy, take no chances when it comes to people's lives and health.
The repercussions of lowering the guard could be disastrous for a country with 1.4 billion people, including 267 million aged 60 or above and more than 250 million children.
Though seemingly less severe than Delta, Omicron is still a dangerous virus and can still cause serious symptoms especially among those with underlying conditions, the elderly, and those who are unvaccinated, and hospitalization and death are possible, according to World Health Organization experts.
Treatment data in Jilin show that Omicron is particularly lethal to vulnerable groups, such as those who are bedridden due to illnesses or undergoing hemodialysis treatment.
This, coupled with the demographics, indicates that China's medical system would risk a collapse leading to enormous loss to life if it gives up on epidemic prevention and control.
China seeks to minimize the impact of the epidemic by adhering to the dynamic zero-COVID approach. More importantly, it possesses the essential foundation, resources and capability to sustain such a strategy.
So far, more than 38,000 medical workers have been sent from across the country to support fighting the epidemic in Shanghai, where nearly 26 million people on Monday underwent nucleic acid testing within 26 hours.
The city has transformed a convention center into a temporary hospital that could accommodate 50,000 COVID-19 patients. A design plan was drawn up in just eight hours and 1,082 sets of container-style rooms were set up in the same amount of time.
Vegetables, fruits, and anti-epidemic resources are flooding in from all over the country, including from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region thousands of miles away.
The dynamic zero-COVID approach does not seek to pursue zero infections, rather it calls for measures to bring outbreaks under control in the shortest possible time.
This strategy necessitates a firm commitment, swift action and effective protection measures, and calls for ensuring necessities of life and medical services in the process. The core functions of cities should operate normally while the supply and industrial chains must not be impeded.
The virus is constantly mutating, posing a threat to human life. In the face of all adversities, China is doing all possible with an unshakable conviction that people and their lives are above everything. ■