BEIJING, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- China will faithfully implement its optimized COVID-19 response measures in a science-based and targeted manner, said a spokesperson with the National Health Commission (NHC) on Thursday.
"We firmly oppose two inappropriate approaches. One is the block-it-off approach, which resorts to excessive control measures, and the other is the let-it-go approach, which is irresponsible," said Mi Feng, an NHC spokesperson, at a press conference.
China's COVID-19 response should put the people and their lives above everything else, practice the general strategy of "preventing both imported cases and domestic resurgences," and tenaciously pursue the policy of "dynamic zero-COVID," he said.
Last Friday, the Chinese government released a circular on further optimizing the COVID-19 response, announcing 20 prevention and control measures.
The public has shown positive feedback to the optimized response measures.
The number of petitions related to COVID-19 response, posted by ordinary citizens on the NHC website, has dropped by 39 percent from last Friday to Wednesday, according to Shen Hongbing, deputy chief of the national administration of disease prevention and control, at the same press conference.
OPTIMIZED MEDICAL RESOURCES
The newly-released response measures included placing different types of patients at various medical facilities.
Efforts will be made to enhance the capacity of designated hospitals to deal with severe or critical cases, Guo Yanhong, a senior NHC official, said at the press conference.
Some large venues, such as stadiums and exhibition centers, will be prepared in advance for building makeshift hospitals to treat asymptomatic patients or those having mild symptoms, Guo said.
The authorities will also spend more resources on fever clinics in regular hospitals to early detect, report, quarantine, and treat infected cases, the official said.
MORE TARGETED, EFFECTIVE RESPONSE
According to the newly released prevention and control measures, the categories of COVID-19 risk areas are adjusted from "high," "medium," and "low" to "high" and "low" to minimize personnel under quarantine or health monitoring.
More targeted and effective epidemiological investigation and risk assessment will be needed to identify high-risk areas, Wang Liping, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at the press conference.
She said although closed management will still operate in high-risk areas, vulnerable groups will be attended to, and their daily necessities and medical supplies ensured. These groups include the elderly living alone, minors, pregnant women, disabled people, and chronically ill patients in blocked sites.
SCIENCE-BASED, TARGETED NUCLEIC ACID TESTS
Both the ninth edition of China's COVID-19 control protocols and the recently-announced 20 prevention and control measures have required a science-based and targeted execution of nucleic acid tests, said Shen Hongbing. Shen added that they should be neither pushed excessively nor loosened indiscreetly.
In areas without COVID-19 cases, the focus of nucleic acid tests will be on people working in risky positions and the key groups and should not be expanded at will, he said.
The authorities will try their best to optimize the layout of nucleic acid testing branches and timely update their information to the public, said Guo Yanhong.
FACILITATE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES
According to the optimized response measures, the authorities have adjusted the management approach for inbound travelers to better coordinate epidemic response with international exchanges and travels and minimize the epidemic's impact on economic and social development, Wang Liping said.
To enforce quarantine measures more effectively, the local communities will be required to register the information of people undergoing in-home quarantine in a timely manner and provide assistance for those who have necessary reasons to go out, for example, for immediate medical needs, Wang said. ■