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"People first" the core of China's anti-epidemic measures

Updated: Oct 28, 2021 Xinhua Print
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LANZHOU -- Li Bin, 77, was caught off guard when a new wave of COVID-19 infections hit various regions in China.

Li and his wife are empty-nesters in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province. The residential quarter where they live was listed as a medium-risk area for COVID-19 since 8 a.m. on Oct. 19 and has hence been under closed-off management as several COVID-19 cases were reported there.

As of Tuesday, 55 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases had been reported in Gansu. The province has implemented measures such as massive nucleic acid testings, epidemiological investigations, closed-loop management and travel restrictions.

At the very beginning of the quarantine, Li and his wife were quite anxious, but soon their worries were dispelled.

Community workers visit them regularly to carry out nucleic acid tests and bring free meals and daily necessities including milk, eggs and fruit and call them every day to check on their needs.

"The food is delicious, and I have no worries at all," said the old man.

"We are confident in our country's ability to contain the epidemic," said Li. To his surprise, community workers even brought them uncooked vegetables and meat so they can prepare their preferred meals.

The latest resurgence of COVID-19 has spread to over 10 provincial-level regions, including Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Qinghai and Beijing.

Putting people first as the principle of China's anti-epidemic strategy, authorities at every level have launched targeted measures and precise policies to minimize the impact on people's lives.

Vulnerable groups including the elderly, the disabled and children are given special care to ensure no one is left behind.

In Zhangye, about 500 km away from Lanzhou, the disabled are being taken good care of to ensure that they maintain a stable source of income. Medical workers in Lanzhou provide door-to-door service for elderly people with difficulties moving to collect nucleic acid samples. Temporary nucleic acid sampling sites have also been set up for children.

"It has significantly shortened the wait time and lowered the risk of cross-infection," said a mother of a primary student in Lanzhou.

Apart from swift measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, China is also sparing no effort to treat every patient.

Zhu Yongbiao, a professor at the School of Politics and International Relations of Lanzhou University, said that China has always attached great importance to people's lives and health.

"The concept of 'people first, life first' is not only an important premise for China to win the fight against the epidemic, but also a source for the Chinese government to win the support of the public," added Zhu.

"I'm confident in China's anti-epidemic efforts and I feel super safe here. Widely supported by the public, China has been able to control the epidemic faster and faster," said Bigirimana Theoneste, a student at Lanzhou Jiaotong University from Rwanda.

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